Coming off their first loss of the season, the New England Patriots returned to the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium today to hold the only practice of their bye week. But while conditions were perfect for the full-pads session, attendance was not: according to reporters on site, neither strong safety Patrick Chung nor tight end Benjamin Watson were spotted during the short open window at the beginning of practice.
The two veterans did not suffer any reported injuries during Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, so the reason for their absence — even if it is possible it was only for the initial 10-minute window of practice — remains a mystery at this point in time. When it comes to Chung, however, an injury certainly seems possible: the 32-year-old was listed as questionable on last week’s injury report because of heel and chest injuries.
Chung also was on the field for only 27 of New England’s 70 defensive snaps against the Ravens, a noticeably lower number than his usual playing time share of close to 100%. The Patriots giving him additional rest heading into the home-stretch of the regular season certainly seems possible. The same could also be true for the 38-year-old Watson, who played all 67 of the team’s offensive snaps on Sunday night.
After today’s practice, the Patriots will have four days off before returning to work and start preparations for their upcoming game against the Philadelphia Eagles.