Today, the New England Patriots and Houston Texans met again on the practice fields at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. It was the second of the teams' three joint sessions and the final one open to a public that again was predominantly Patriots-friendly.
Here is what happened (via our training camp news feed):
The following Patriots did not practice today: Nate Solder, Matthew Slater, Mike Gillislee, Antonio Garcia, Matt Lengel, LaAdrian Waddle, LeShun Daniels, Shea McClellin, Brandon King, Deatrich Wise Jr. and Deionta Davis. Waddle and Daniels are new additions to the list.
Linebacker Dont'a Hightower remains on the PUP list while rookie offensive tackle Andrew Jelks remains on NFI.
New England suffered two injuries during the session – both to members of the team's defensive line: First, rookie Derek Rivers stayed on the ground due to an apparent knee injury sustained on kickoff coverage. While he got up and slowly walked off the practice fields, he did not return.
Kony Ealy, on the other hand, who appeared to have suffered a shoulder injury did come back. He sat out about half an hour of the session but ultimately was back on the field to end practice.
The quarterbacks, per the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe, performed as follows:
Team drills: Tom Brady 14/24; Jimmy Garoppolo 7/15
One day after being the best offensive skill position player on the practice fields, wide receiver Chris Hogan had another very good session. He caught a 60-yard touchdown from Tom Brady and routinely made other highly contested catches.
One day after not connecting with Brandin Cooks, Brady looked his way more often: Cooks was on the receiving end of multiple Brady passes – among them a 20-yard touchdowns during team drills.
New England's offensive line was inconsistent yesterday. Today, however, the unit had a better performance and was able to keep the quarterbacks mostly clean.
Marcus Cannon, for example, had another strong showing – especially when going against All-Pro J.J. Watt. While Watt won his fair share of battles, Cannon was able to hold his ground as well. A battle on the highest level.
Tight end James O'Shaughnessy, who returned to practice yesterday, had a solid session.
Jimmy Garoppolo stayed on the field after practice to continue working with a group that included veteran wideout Danny Amendola.
After effectively sitting out yesterday's session due to a “coaching decision”, high-priced free agency cornerback Stephon Gilmore was back on the field – and he was once again very good in coverage.
Gilmore again served as the first-team option opposite Malcolm Butler. The duo was serving as the perimeter cornerbacks with Eric Rowe the primary option in the slot.
When Kony Ealy returned to practice following his short injury timeout, he was used as part of New England's hurry-up defense. He looked effective as a pass rusher.
Late in the session, the Patriots' third-team defense stopped the Texans' third-team offense thanks to a pass breakup by rookie Kenny Moore II. Consequently, Houston head coach Bill O'Brien and his team had to do push-ups.
Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and Cyrus Jones saw time as kick returners.
The Patriots and Texans will return to the practice fields tomorrow. The session – which is projected to be nothing more than a walkthrough – will be closed to the public but open to members of the media.