The New England Patriots’ 14th training camp practice of the summer was a special one: after traveling to Philadelphia on Sunday, the team joined forces with the Eagles for a two-hour session on Monday. That session, which took place in full pads, was an eventful one — and one that saw some standout performances, for better or worse.
Let’s take a look at them.
Loser: QB Cam Newton
The Patriots’ incumbent starting quarterback did have some solid moments on Monday, but all in all he put forward another inconsistent performance. Starting off every drill as the team’s top option at the position and spending the day behind New England’s starting offensive line, Newton completed 12 of 19 throws during competitive drills.
However, he also threw one interception late in an end-of-game situation and was lucky that at least two more of his throws did not get picked off as well. Newton has had issues with consistency all summer long, and Monday was more of the same.
Winners: LB Matthew Judon & LB Ja’Whaun Bentley
The Patriots had two interceptions on Monday, and both came courtesy of members of their linebacker room. The first was notched by Matthew Judon, who again made his disruptive presence felt: he picked off Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in 7-on-7s, and later registered a tackle for loss and a sack in back-to-back plays during 11-on-11s.
Ja’Whaun Bentley, meanwhile, also picked off Hurts during that 7-on-7 series. He later also broke up a pass, continuing his solid training camp.
Loser: CB J.C. Jackson
With Stephon Gilmore still on PUP, J.C. Jackson continues to serve as the Patriots’ number one cornerback. On Monday, he had his ups and downs. Jackson had some struggles during 1-on-1 drills before bouncing back late during practice and registering a pass breakup during 7-on-7s. As long as Gilmore remains out, however, New England will need Jackson to play more consistently than he did in the first joint practice.
Loser: WR Kristian Wilkerson
Kristian Wilkerson had some good practice performances early in training camp and also saw considerable playing time during the Patriots’ preseason opener versus the Washington Football Team. However, consistency remained an issue for him along the way.
Monday was a continuation of that for the second-year wideout, and he actually finished with more drops than catches. Wilkerson caught one pass during team drills compared to a pair of throws that went through his hands (he had one drop on a pass from Cam Newton, another on a pass from Mac Jones); he also ran the wrong route during a 1-on-1 drill and tripped on another.
Winner: DE Deatrich Wise Jr.
Deatrich Wise Jr. saw limited playing time during the Patriots’ game against Washington, but he had a solid practice against the Eagles on Monday. The fifth-year defensive lineman finished the session with a sack (although there was no tackling to the ground) and drew a penalty.
Loser: The tight end depth chart
New England entered the competitive portion of Monday’s practice without its top two tight ends: Jonnu Smith (ankle) watched from the sidelines, while Hunter Henry (shoulder) left for a different field after warmups. With those two not participating, Devin Asiasi and Matt LaCosse were the top options at the position.
However, LaCosse was forced to depart early on during the session. The third-year Patriot was hit hard on a crossing pattern, remained on the ground, and later left practice altogether with members of the team’s training staff. While LaCosse is firmly on the roster bubble, losing him is another blow to New England’s tight end depth chart — one that would be among the best in the NFL if it had all hands on deck.