By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Even when Tom Brady doesn’t practice, he practices.
Friday was a de facto day off for Brady, but that wasn’t going to keep him off the practice field entirely. No. 12 didn’t participate in any team drills or throw to any receivers, but he stretched with the team and played soft toss with coaches.
It’s highly likely there’s nothing wrong with Brady and he was just getting a lighter day with two more practices coming Saturday and Sunday.
Backup Brian Hoyer was mostly sharp working the short passing game in team drills, finding some of the Patriots’ most reliable targets repeatedly. Rookie Jarrett Stidham, meanwhile, still holds on to the ball a long time. A few of his incompletions looked to be the fault of the receivers, though.
Not much to really read into from Friday’s practice, particularly with Brady not throwing. But here are some notes and observations from the last training camp practice before the full pads go on.
— Absent: DE Michael Bennett (personal reasons), C David Andrews (unknown)
— Present but not in jerseys or pads: QB Tom Brady, WR Julian Edelman (PUP), RB Sony Michel (PUP), WR Demaryius Thomas (PUP), S Nate Ebner (PUP)
— Edelman, Thomas, and Ebner later practiced on the conditioning field.
— Defensive end Deatrich Wise returned at one point, but appeared to be a limited participant. It’s unclear if he’s actually off the PUP list.
— Danny Etling, who again wore a white jersey indicating he’s a non-quarterback, threw the ball at times with Brady taking the day off from throwing. He most likely still needs to earn a spot on the team as a converted wide receiver, which should be considered a long shot at this point.
— More Joe Thuney at left tackle during team drills. He played alongside rookie Hjalte Froholdt at left guard and Ted Karras at center. Isaiah Wynn continues to be eased in as he wasn’t spotted for most of the team drills.
— Hoyer completed passes to Braxton Berrios, Rex Burkhead, James White, Brandon Bolden, Stephen Anderson, Matt LaCosse, James Develin, and Phillip Dorsett in team drills. Dorsett beat rookie cornerback Joejuan Williams for a deep touchdown on one play.
— Stidham completed passes to Dontrelle Inman, Lance Kendricks, Burkhead, N’Keal Harry, LaCosse, White, and Maurice Harris. The latter made a catch in the back of the end zone that drew cheers from the crowd. Stidham also dropped a pretty ball into White’s hands as the running back broke toward the end zone.
— Stidham did throw a couple of interceptions in red zone drills. On the first one, Devin McCourty tipped an errant pass to himself for the pick. On the second, Terrence Brooks tipped it in the air and Obi Melifonwu came down with the ball.
— Near the end of practice during 11-on-11s, Harry appeared to line up the wrong way. He put his hands up in confusion as Hoyer looked to scold him for his mistake. Looked and felt like a standard growing pain for the rookie receiver, but the hope is Harry picks up the playbook quicker than most.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend Saturday’s practice, which means I have to miss the official start of full padding. But I’ll be back at it on Sunday with more notes.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.