With roster cutdown day hanging over the entire operation, the New England Patriots returned to the practice fields on Monday for their first session since the preseason finale in Las Vegas. As opposed to training camp, media access was limited to the first few minutes — not enough to give a substantial report, but enough to see who was or wasn’t there.
According to reporters present for the session, four players were not spotted: running back Ty Montgomery (ankle), wide receivers Tyquan Thornton (collarbone) and Kristian Wilkerson (concussion) and offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (?) were absent.
Cajuste’s absence was a mystery. The fourth-year man, who is competing for the third offensive tackle spot behind presumed starters Trent Brown and Isaiah Wynn, was on the field for 30 offensive snaps against the Las Vegas Raiders last Friday and did not appear to suffer an injury along the way. Given his extensive injury history — he missed his first two seasons in the league entirely — the situation is one worth keeping an eye on.
Montgomery, Thornton and Wilkerson being absent, meanwhile, was not a surprise.
Montgomery left the game versus the Raiders with an ankle injury, and head coach Bill Belichick gave an encouraging update on Monday morning. Thornton and Wilkerson are still dealing with injuries suffered during the second week of preseason: Thornton was hurt in the game against the Carolina Panthers; Wilkerson in one of the practices preceding it.
New England also received some positive injury news on Monday. Running back Damien Harris was back and participating after not appearing in Friday’s contest in Las Vegas; he left the final joint practice with the Raiders due to an apparent injury.
Also present was wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who played just nine snaps on Friday and spent a portion of the night on a stationary bike. He suffered an apparent leg injury after guard Michael Onwenu landed on him; Meyers was spotted wearing a sleeve on his left leg on Monday.