After every victory, the New England Patriots announce practice players of the week to highlight the depth players and practice squad members that best helped the team in preparation for the opponent. These players are typically tasked with performing like the star players on the other team.
The team honored six players after defeating the Houston Texans in week 1.
Offensive lineman James Ferentz helped the Patriots have one of their most productive days of pass rushing in recent years. Texans guards Zach Fulton and Senio Kelemete are new to the team this year, while center Nick Martin was a second round pick in 2016 and is in his second season as a starter.
Defensive linemen Trent Harris, Geneo Grissom, and Deatrich Wise were given the practice squad distinction and it’s likely because of how the Patriots offensive line performed against the fierce Texans defensive trio of Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, and J.J. Watt, possibly respectively. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Grissom spent some time playing as linebackers Bernardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham.
Defensive backs Keion Crossen and J.C. Jackson likely practiced as some mix of Texans defensive backs Kareem Jackson, Jonathan Joseph, Tyrann Mathieu, and Kevin Johnson and the Patriots had some success targeting the secondary with Rob Gronkowski and Phillip Dorsett.
Edit: As astute reader Paul highlighted, Crossen served as quarterback Deshaun Watson during a practice with media present.
Congratulations to these six players!