The New England Patriots are back from their trip to Philadelphia. On Monday, they will start their preparations for the upcoming joint practices with the New York Giants — the NFC East club will be in town on Wednesday and Thursday — leading into the team’s preseason meeting on Sunday.
While those joint sessions will be open to the public, the first two practices of the week will be closed. That said, we will keep our eyes open for the following.
Who will be out there?
The NFL decided to do three different cutdown days this year, and the second of them will be coming up shortly. By 4pm on Tuesday, every team in the league will have to be below the 80-player threshold. That means that the Patriots will need to part ways with five of their players over the next 30 hours.
Monday’s practice could be a first indicator of who will stay and who will go. The Patriots don’t have to wait until the last second to make their decisions, after all, so any suspicious absentees could be a sign of what is to come.
Obviously, though, the team does not have to release players in order to get below the league-mandates limit. New England could also decide to make trades, send players to season-ending injured reserve, or to change the “active” to “reserve” status for players on the physically unable to perform or non-football injury lists. The team does have plenty of options to reduce its roster.
With the Giants set to arrive in Foxborough in two days, the Patriots might decide against going full speed for their first session of the week. The two practices with Joe Judge’s team, after all, project as a full-pads affair with a heavy focus on competition both within each team and between them.
As a result of this, it would not be surprising if Bill Belichick and company would decide to take things comparatively slow early on during the week. Players wearing shells and shorts, or at the very least not going at each other at full speed, could be on the menu.
The Patriots’ undrafted rookie looked very strong during the first few days filling in for veteran Nick Folk. Against the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday, however, he struggled. Nordin missed a field goal and two point-after attempts, leaving five points on the board.
The performance did not matter in the grand scheme of things and as far as the outcome of the 35-0 game was concerned, but it certainly put the youngster under plenty of pressure. Consistency, after all, is the key to making the team — and Nordin showed little of it last week.
His ability to bounce back, maybe as early as Monday, will be something to keep a close eye on. If he is unable to do that, and Folk returns strong after his 10-practice absence, Nordin could be in trouble.