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Patriots 2017 training camp: Day four recap; New England tries to replace Rob Ninkovich

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Notes and musings from the fourth training camp practice.

The New England Patriots returned to practice today for their fourth straight training camp practice – the second straight in pads. The story of the day however was the retirement of veteran edge defender Rob Ninkovich, who held a press conference after practice to make his decision to walk away official.

Before that, though, New England held another practice. Here's what happened (via our live news feed).


Attendance

A new player was spotted wearing jersey number 16 (which hints at a wide receiver). So far, his identity has not been made public and it seems as if he will fill the vacant roster spot created by Ninkovich's retirement.

Safety Duron Harmon, who suffered an undisclosed injury yesterday, was absent as was wide receiver Cody Hollister. Ninkovich, obviously, was a no-show as well.

Wide receivers Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell as well as safety David Jones were working separately on another field.


Offense

Per the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels, the quarterbacks performed as follows:

7-on-7s: Tom Brady 5/5, Jimmy Garoppolo 4/5, Jacoby Brissett 5/6

11-on-11s: Tom Brady 10/11, Jimmy Garoppolo 6/8, Jacoby Brissett 6/6

Second-year guard Joe Thuney looked good in one-on-ones and was able to hold his ground against Trey Flowers.

During 7-on-7s, D.J. Foster worked with the first team offense.

After the session, Brady continued to work with the projected top three receivers, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and newcomer Brandin Cooks.


Defense

Geneo Grissom saw plenty of reps with the starters. David Harris, Lawrence Guy and Jonathan Jones did as well, with the latter rotating with Eric Rowe.

Shea McClellin, Kyle Van Noy and rookie Harvey Langi all spent time with the edge rushers during one-on-ones. Geneo Grissom, in the meantime, moved back to linebacker. As is expected, they will all play a role when it comes to replacing Rob Ninkovich's role in the defense.

Rookie edge defender Deatrich Wise Jr. – another player now asked to step into Ninkovich's footsteps – looked good during one-on-one battles.


Special teams

Cyrus Jones, Brandon Cooks, Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis were working as the punt returners.

After the session, Jones worked on his ball handling with punter Ryan Allen.


The Patriots will enjoy their first day off tomorrow and return to practice on Tuesday, August 1 at 9:15 a.m. ET. Make sure to check out our training camp guide in case you want to visit the session.