Whether or not the New England Patriots will indeed report to training camp in not even two weeks — they are one of 30 teams scheduled to return to their facilities on July 28 — remains to be seen, but their players are making sure they will be in as good a shape as possible whenever they reconvene at Gillette Stadium. We are in the time of player-organized workout and training sessions, after all.
With organized team activities and mandatory minicamp having been canceled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Patriots’ players have started showing their self-organization skills.
Quarterback Cam Newton recently held a series of throwing sessions at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles — sessions that were attended, among others, by wide receiver N’Keal Harry and rookie tight end Devin Asiasi — while fellow passers Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer did the same on the other side of the country. The latter two were back at it again this week: Stidham and Hoyer are among a group of players who met in Massachusetts this week to work out together.
Spotted alongside them were wide receivers Mohamed Sanu, who also worked out with Newton in California earlier this month, and Gunner Olszewski, as well as center David Andrews, fullback Jakob Johnson and another rookie tight end, Dalton Keene. Drew Lieberman, Sanu’s personal coach, shared a video of the session’s warm-up portion on his Instagram account (via Pats Pulpit’s own Ryan Spagnoli):
Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer, Mohamed Sanu, David Andrews, Jakob Johnson, Gunner Olszewski & other #Patriots players continue to workout together.— Ryan Spagnoli (@Ryan_Spags) July 15, 2020
(Via @CoachLiebs IG - he’ll be on the podcast this week. Check out his great work at @sidelinehustle ) pic.twitter.com/jMAbyiTYS4
As noted above, the Patriots’ players are scheduled to report to training camp later this month. So far, however, they remain in limbo with both the NFL and the NFLPA still negotiating the framework of a player return in time of Covid-19.
“We have not gotten any letters for report dates,” said safety Devin McCourty during a recent episode of his Double Coverage podcast. “Usually when we leave the facility from mandatory minicamp, we’d already have gotten a letter with what date we have to come back. It just goes to show everything going on and the communication between the PA and the NFL and trying to get everything to work out. I think that’s what’s kind of been the hold-up of having a report date.”
Nevertheless, Stidham and company continue to work on their craft even in uncertain times.
When it comes to the workout itself, three players who are fighting their way back from injury can be seen participating. David Andrews was sidelined for the entire 2019 season after blood clots were discovered in his lungs last August; he was medically cleared to return to the field earlier this year. Mohamed Sanu, meanwhile, underwent ankle surgery earlier this offseason. Gunner Olszewski, on the other hand, was moved to injured reserve last November due to ankle and hamstring issues.
While Andrews is a lock to make the Patriots’ roster this year, neither Sanu nor Olszewski are guaranteed spots on the team. Being close to 100 percent once training camp opens is therefore imperative for the two of them.