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 visited the Philadelphia Eagles last week before welcoming the New York Giants to Gillette Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday.
With quite a lot on the schedule this week, let’s take a close at it.
Monday, August 23 (10 am ET): Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA
Tuesday, August 23 (TBD): Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA
Friday, August 27 (TBD): Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA
Before welcoming the Giants to Gillette Stadium, the Patriots will hold two practices by themselves. Those sessions will be closed to the public, but open to members of the media, with at least one of them likely not in full pads.
The Patriots are also currently scheduled to practice on Friday before departing to New Jersey to take on the Giants in both teams’ preseason finale. As can be seen, the team is steadily moving towards a regular schedule.
Wednesday, August 25 (10 am ET): Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA
Thursday, August 26 (10 am ET): Gillette Stadium, Foxborough MA
The two workouts this week will take place each day at 10 am, and certainly be similar in physicality than those in Philadelphia last week. Expect players to wear full pads on both Wednesday and Thursday, before what projects as a lighter session on Friday (regardless of whether or not both teams are participating in it).
As opposed to the joint session with the Eagles, the Patriots-Giants practices will be open to the general public. For further information, please visit our Pats Pulpit Training Camp Guide as well as the Patriots’ official website.
Tuesday, August 24 (by 4 pm ET)
Following Tuesday’s practice, the Patriots will have to reduce their roster from 85 to 80 players — the second such cutdown deadline to come within the last week. New England started early with its releases last week, and Monday’s practice could be an indication about any potential moves already having been made as well.
Obviously, the Patriots do not have to release players to get under the 80-player threshold. They also have the option to move players to season-ending injured reserve, change the status of players on the physically unable to perform and non-football injury lists from “active” to “reserve,” or to make a trade. Either way, they have to get below the limit by 4pm on Tuesday.
Preseason Week 3
Sunday, August 29 (7:30 pm ET): MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ
While the joint practices between the Patriots and Giants are taking place in Foxborough, the two teams will travel to New Jersey for their preseason matchup on Sunday. 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 again see some action.
While preseason has to be taken with a grain of salt given the circumstances — “the game plan is practice,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said ahead of last week’s practices in Philadelphia — the upcoming night’s contest can be seen as a dress rehearsal of sorts. It also will give players on the roster bubble a final chance to prove themselves with the final round of cutdowns happening just two days after the game.