The long wait is finally over. More than six months after their disappointing playoff exit, the New England Patriots are set to return to work in front of their fans. That’s right, it is time for training camp!
The Patriots will hold their first practice of the summer on Wednesday and over the next few weeks, the team will gradually ramp up the intensity while continuing to take shape. Here at Pats Pulpit, we will give you all the information you need. So, let’s dive right in.
Welcome to our Patriots Training Camp Guide.
The Patriots have announced a handful of practices so far. As usual, admission to these sessions is free:
- Wednesday, July 27: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Thursday, July 28: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Friday, July 29: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Saturday, July 30: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Monday, Aug. 1: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Tuesday, Aug. 2: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Wednesday, Aug. 3: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Thursday, Aug. 4: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Friday, Aug. 5: 7 p.m. ET (inside Gillette Stadium)
- Monday, Aug. 8, 4 p.m. ET
- Tuesday, Aug. 9,
4 p.m. ET12 p.m. ET
- Monday, Aug. 15: 9:30 a.m. ET
- Tuesday, Aug. 16: 9:30 a.m. ET (joint practices with Carolina)
- Wednesday, Aug. 17: 9:30 a.m. ET (joint practices with Carolina)
Gates will generally open around 90 minutes before each session (i.e. 8 a.m. for morning practices) and close about one hour after. However, please note that the schedule is subject to change if necessary. For instance, if a session has to be relocated to the adjacent Socios.com Field House indoor facility because of inclement weather, it can no longer be open to the public.
Parking: Parking at the stadium facilities’ parking lots is free for all public practice sessions. If you arrive from the north (e.g. Boston), use parking lot entrance P6. If you arrive from the south (e.g. Providence), use parking lot entrance P8. ADA parking lots can be found in Lot 22. For more information on parking, please check out this map.
Directions: Prior to the 2015 training camp, the Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young and Ben Volin wrote down directions to Gillette Stadium. Since they did a tremendous job and none of the locations have changed, we will just quote them here:
From Boston and farther north: Take I-95 South to Exit 9. Follow Rte. 1 south approximately 3 miles to Gillette Stadium (on the left).
From Cape Cod: I-495 North to Exit 14A. Follow Rte. 1 north about 4 miles to Gillette Stadium (on the right).
From southern Connecticut, Rhode Island: Take I-95 North to I-495 North to Exit 14A. Follow Rte. 1 north about 4 miles to Gillette Stadium (on the right).
From northern Connecticut, Vermont, upstate New York: I-90 East to I-495 South to Exit 14A. Follow Rte. 1 north about 4 miles to Gillette Stadium (on the right).
Autographs: After three years of no close fan contact due to Covid-19 restrictions, autograph sessions are again planned to take place after each day of practice.
Concessions: The main concession stands will be positioned behind the bleachers. All of them will be cashless, but a cash-to-card machine is available as well.
Bringing your own food and/or beverages to camp is permitted.
Fan activities: The Patriots will offer various fan activities around the practice area. For further information, please take a look at this map.
Participants of physical and interactive activities will not have to fill out any waiver forms beforehand. Signage will be present to make them aware of the team’s terms and conditions.
Visitors with disabilities: As noted above, ADA parking lots can be found in Lot 22 (once more, the map); there are signs leading there. Seating at the facility will be available in all the bleacher sections, located on the western end of the practice fields. For more information, call 508-384-9191.
Prohibited items: The following is a list of things you better leave in your car if you want to watch the Patriots practice: all animals except service animals assisting those with disabilities (don’t leave them in your car, though, but at home), alcoholic beverages, beach balls, bullhorns and air horns, coolers, fireworks or pyrotechnics, flag poles and tripods longer than 2 feet (shorter ones will be allowed), helium balloons, illegal drugs or any other illegal substance, laser pens, noise makers, video cameras, weapons of any kind (including knives), unmanned aircraft systems, remotely controlled model aircraft, drones, selfie sticks. Additionally, any other items deemed inappropriate by stadium management are prohibited.
As usual, the players will not wear names on their jerseys during training camp — only numbers. Therefore, in order to know who made a play, you need to know each player’s number (or at least have them printed out with you). To find the current roster as well as the up-to-date jersey numbers take a look at patriots.com/team/roster.
One distinction can easily be made, though: the Patriots’ offense will once again wear white jerseys, while the defense will wear blue ones. Quarterbacks and players not to be touched will wear red jerseys.
The Patriots currently have no players on their active/physically unable to perform list (PUP). One player remains on the active/non-football injury or illness list for now (NFI):
- OL Andrew Stueber
All players on PUP/NFI can be activated off the respective injury lists at any time moving forward. If such a move does not happen by final roster cutdowns on August 30, however, the players still remaining on the the active/PUP/NFI lists will transfer to reserve/PUP/NFI; they will no longer count against the 53-man roster but could come back as early as Week 5 of the regular season.
There will be multiple position battles throughout training camp, but the most intriguing from the current perspective are the following.
RB Damien Harris vs. RB Rhamondre Stevenson: The Patriots have employed a rotation at running back ever since the late 2000s, and last year was no exception. That said, Harris was the clubhouse leader in opportunities and therefore de facto RB1 ahead of Stevenson. Heading into 2022, however, the latter will get his chances to maybe carve out a bigger role — especially with Harris headed into the final year of his rookie contract.
RB Pierre Strong Jr. vs. RB J.J. Taylor: With James White still recovering from season-ending hip injury and on the physically unable to perform list, the Patriots’ receiving back job appears to be up for grabs. The two contestants? Strong Jr. and Taylor. The former is a lock to make the team based on his draft status, while the latter saw considerable action in lieu of White’s absence in mandatory minicamp. There is a chance that both end up making the team, but it would not be a surprise if one saw more action.
WR Kendrick Bourne vs. WR Jakobi Meyers: First things first. Bourne and Meyers can coexist in the Patriots’ offense. In fact, they did so last year and they will continue to do so in 2022. That said, the two are expected to compete for a role recently played by Meyers: Mac Jones’ go-to guy in critical situations. Meyers was a reliable target, catching 32 passes on third and fourth downs compared to Bourne’s 17. The question is whether or not the latter will be able to make a jump in his second year in the system and cut into Meyers’ target share in situations like these.
TE Devin Asiasi vs. TE Dalton Keene vs. TE Matt Sokol: With Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith safe and only so many roster spots available, it is not inconceivable that the Patriots will keep just three tight ends on their active roster this year. The question is who the third man behind Henry and Smith will be. Asiasi appears to be the favorite after serving as TE3 in 2021, but Keene’s versatility might make him a dark-horse candidate to make the cut instead of him. Journeyman Sokol appears to only have an outside chance.
Justin Herron vs. Yodny Cajuste vs. Andrew Stueber vs. William Sherman vs. Yasir Durant: Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown are the starters at offensive tackle, but the spots behind them are up for grabs. Yodny Cajuste and Justin Herron served as the backups on the left and right side, respectively, during minicamp but there is no guarantee that both will make the team. Stueber, meanwhile, remains on the non-football injury list and could be headed towards a redshirt campaign. Of course, the guard/tackle hybrids on the roster — Sherman and Durant — might also have a word to say about the composition of the group.
Raekwon McMillan vs. Cameron McGrone vs. Mack Wilson: Ja’Whaun Bentley is expected to fill a starting role at the heart of the Patriots defense this year. The question is who will carve out regular playing time alongside him, either on early downs or in the passing game. McMillan, McGrone and Wilson have skillsets different than Bentley’s, so there is a chance that all three of them could turn into key contributors off the ball this year — that is, if their training camp performances give the coaching staff confidence in their abilities to fill such roles.
Malcolm Butler vs. Jack Jones vs. Terrance Mitchell vs. Joejuan Williams vs. Shaun Wade: That’s right, we have a good old free-for-all at the second outside cornerback spot opposite projected starter Jalen Mills. Butler, Jones, Mitchell, Williams and Wade will all be given a chance to prove themselves as worthy of that role this summer. Butler should be seen as the favorite to win the competition at the moment, but Mitchell offers plenty of starting experience as well. Of course, Jones is a lock to make the team based on his fourth-round draft status and has had some positive moments during the spring.
Aug. 11: Preseason Week 1 vs. New York Giants (7 p.m. ET). The Patriots usually close out their preseason against the Giants but this year is different. They will be hosting the NFC East squad at Gillette Stadium for both teams’ first preseason contest of the summer.
Aug. 16: Roster cuts from 90 to 85. Just like last year, the first wave of roster cuts will be coming after the first preseason weekend. The Patriots will play their first preseason game against New York on August 11 and will need to trim their roster from 90 to 85 five day later.
Aug. 19: Preseason Week 2 vs. Carolina Panthers (7 p.m. ET). New England will stay at home for its second preseason game as well. This one, however, will follow a pair of joint practices behind Gillette Stadium that are open to fans.
Aug. 23: Roster cuts from 85 to 80. Five days after their second preseason contest against the Panthers, the Patriots will hold their second round of cuts to get the roster down to 80.
Aug. 26: Preseason Week 3 at Las Vegas Raiders (8:15 p.m. ET). New England will also hold joint practices with the Raiders during the week leading up to the preseason finale. This time, however, they will take place in Las Vegas.
Aug. 30: Roster cuts from 80 to 53. The final wave of cuts will need to be done by August 30 at 4 p.m. ET. At that point, four days after the preseason finale in Las Vegas, the Patriots will part ways with 27 of their players. As on the previous two days they can do so either by waiving them, trading them, or by moving them to an injury-based reserve list.
Aug. 31: Practice squad establishment. The first practice squad for the 2022 season can be built starting that day. The league opted to keep the increased practice squad sizes it established during the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning that clubs can send up to 16 players to their developmental rosters.
Aug. 31: Injured reserve return window opens. Players sent to injured reserve or the reserve/non-football injury list ahead of 4 p.m. ET on August 30 will not be eligible to return during the 2021 season. Those sent there afterwards, however, can be brought back. As opposed to last year, players will now have to sit out four instead of three games before being allowed to be activated again.
Sep. 11: Opening day. For the third year in a row, the Patriots will play the Miami Dolphins to open the regular season. As opposed to 2020’s and 2021’s contests, however, this one is set to take place on the road at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.
Analysis: We will have plenty of training camp updates online throughout the summer. Please make sure to regularly check back to PatsPulpit.com for all the latest news, rumors and analysis.
Social media: Throughout training camp, Pats Pulpit will deliver updates and analysis. Besides regularly checking the website, please make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Twitch.
Also, please make sure to give Brian Hines a follow on Twitter (@iambrianhines). He will represent Pats Pulpit in Foxborough to report from training camp.
Podcasts: The Pats Pulpit podcasts will have extensive training camp breakdowns once the action gets underway. To find out how to listen and subscribe, please click here.