Later today, the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans will hit the practice fields together for the first of two joint training camp practices this week. The pair of workouts will give both teams a chance to compete against players from the outside and also be a reunion of sorts considering that numerous former members of the Patriots organization currently work in Nashville. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what to watch for as the two clubs kick off the week.
Will Isaiah Wynn’s workload continue to grow?
After starting camp as a limited participant, the Patriots increased left tackle Isaiah Wynn’s workload on Monday and for the first time since his Achilles injury last August had him perform in a competitive environment. While it was only one practice, it was a positive development for the 23-year-old and a good sign for his long-term outlook. The question heading into this week is whether or not New England feels confident in having Wynn go up against another team as well.
Will the Brady-Meyers connection continue to evolve?
Jakobi Meyers is the biggest surprise of the Patriots’ training camp so far, as his performance allowed him to go from undrafted roster bubble player to regular member of the starting offense. Going against a stout Titans defense this week, Meyers will get another chance to prove his value to New England — and to work on his chemistry with Tom Brady. If the rookie continues to find success and be on the same page as his quarterback, Brady’s trust in him will only increase. The same goes for his chances of making the team.
Can the preseason standouts build on their previous performances?
Meyers is one of the players to stand out during last week’s 31-3 demolition of the Detroit Lions. Fellow rookies Jarrett Stidham, Chase Winovich and Hjalte Froholdt also looked good, as did wide receiver Braxton Berrios and offensive tackle Dan Skipper — the latter two still fighting for roster spots. This week’s practices and subsequent preseason game present more opportunities for youngsters and veterans alike to keep improving against unfamiliar opposition, and potentially set themselves up well in the camp competitions. Speaking of which...
Who can set himself apart in the training camp battles?
Before training camp, we identified the ten most intriguing training camp battles as follows:
Tight end, X-wide receiver, Swing offensive tackle, Defensive edge, Punter, Slot cornerback, Rotational defensive tackle, Slot wide receiver, Depth linebacker, Kickoff returner
While the recent developments give us a sense of who might be ahead in the battles for roster spots, things can turn around fast at this point in the process. It would therefore not be a surprise to see some unexpected players emerge while others take a step back. Needless to say that the camp competitions are far from over, and how players respond to another change of environment might become a deciding factor in determining who emerges victoriously and makes the Patriots’ deep 53-man roster.
Will there be any new injuries?
So far, the Patriots have been comparatively fortunate when it comes to injuries. While wide receiver N’Keal Harry and tight end Matt LaCosse are nursing some minor issues, and both Wynn and Patrick Chung are brought along slowly, only one player — undrafted rookie cornerback D’Angelo Ross — actually saw his season come toa premature end. With the NFL season basically being a war of attrition, a team’s health situation is always worth keeping a close eye on.