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Setting the stage for the Patriots’ joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles this week

Related: Cleaning out the notebook from Day 13 of Patriots training camp

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NFL: AUG 08 New England Patriots Training Camp Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL’s Coronavirus rules prohibited teams to hold joint training camp practices last summer, but they are back on the menu in 2021. The New England Patriots have agreed to join forces with two clubs: they will visit the Philadelphia Eagles over the coming days before working out with the New York Giants a week later.

With joint practices against the Eagles set to kick off this morning, let’s take a close look at the two teams’ schedule for the week.

Joint practices

Monday, August 16 (10 am ET): NovaCare Complex, Philadelphia PA

Tuesday, August 17 (10 am ET): NovaCare Complex, Philadelphia PA

The two workouts this week will take place each day at 10 am, and certainly be among the most physical to date for both teams. Expect players to wear full pads on both Monday and Tuesday, before the two teams might get together again on Wednesday in a lighter walkthrough setting.

Unfortunately, the two practices will not be open to the general public. However, the Patriots’ in-house production team will broadcast Patriots Unfiltered live from Philadelphia on both days starting at 10 am. Please click here to tune in.

Roster cutdowns

Tuesday, August 17 (by 4 pm ET)

Following Tuesday morning’s practice, both the Patriots and the Eagles will have to cut down their rosters from 90 to 85 players. New England has already started doing that: four players were either officially or reportedly released before the team departed to Philadelphia.

It would not be a surprise if that fifth and final cut needed to get under the threshold — which is actually 86 for the Patriots given that fullback Jakob Johnson has an exemption due to his international status — will also come in the form of a player who did not travel with the club. Look for a recent practice absentee to maybe get released or sent to an injury-related reserve list.

Preseason Week 2

Thursday, August 19 (7:30 pm ET): Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia PA

Following the two practices from Monday through Tuesday, the Patriots and Eagles will suit up for the second time this year to meet in Week 2 of the preseason. With the league cutting its preseason schedule from four to three contests after the move to a 17-game regular season, starters on both sides are expected to see considerable action.

As opposed to the practices, the game at Lincoln Financial Field is open to fans. Tickets are currently sold for as little as $16.

While preseason still has to be taken with a grain of salt given the circumstances — “the game plan is practice,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Sunday — Thursday night’s contest can be seen as a dress rehearsal of sorts. It also will give players on the roster bubble another chance to prove themselves with an additional round of cut-downs coming just five days after the game.