The New England Patriots touched down in Las Vegas Sunday night as they prepare for a pair of joint practices and their preseason finale against Josh McDaniels and the Raiders. Before the two teams meet on the practice field Tuesday, New England held a stand-alone practice on Monday afternoon.
With a few high-intensity days ahead in the Vegas heat, the Patriots donned shorts and shells on Monday. Here’s what went down, according to reports from those present for the session.
Absentees: WR Tyquan Thornton, WR Kristian Wilkerson, DE Ronnie Perkins, LB Harvey Langi
Returnees: OT Isaiah Wynn (red non-contact jersey), OT Justin Herron, OL Bill Murray, TE Hunter Henry, WR Kendrick Bourne
Limited: OL Bill Murray
While Tyquan Thornton and Kristian Wilkerson did not travel to Vegas, Ronnie Perkins and Harvey Langi were surprise absences. Isaiah Wynn, Justin Herron, and Bill Murray all returned across the offensive line for New England after missing last week.
Also back on the field were wide receiver Kendrick Bourne and offensive tackle Trent Brown, both of whom sat out the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Friday
The starting five: With Isaiah Wynn returning to the field for the first time in nearly two weeks, he retook his spot at right tackle with the starting unit while wearing a red non-contact jersey. Wynn’s name has been thrown around the trade mill of late, but the starting right tackle spot remains his in the meantime.
Bourne is back: After missing Friday’s preseason game to cap off a tumultuous week, Kendrick Bourne was back on the practice field for the Patriots on Monday. Whether he was ultimately benched or not, Bourne was right back in the mix with the offense to start the week.
Tavai walk-off: Jahlani Tavai had one of the highlight of practice, tipping a Bailey Zappe pass in the air and intercepting it which ended practice. Tavai’s usage throughout the offseason and in Friday’s preseason game against Carolina indicates the team has big plans for him in a potential four-down role.
Humphrey moves up: Lil’Jordan Humphrey has perhaps been the MVP of the preseason for the Patriots. With Tyquan Thornton (collarbone) and Kristian Wilkerson (concussion) now on the back burner, it was Humphrey who was moved up along the depth chart.
Raiders facility: Despite only being in Las Vegas for one day, the Raiders’ facility has made quite the impact on Bill Belichick. Speaking with reporters before practice, Belichick raved about the Raiders headquarters, saying it is “as good as any [he’s] seen” throughout both the NFL and college.
New England will be back Tuesday for its first of two joint practices with the Raiders.