New England Patriots

Sep 11, 2019; Foxborough, MA: New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown warms up during practice at Gillette Stadium. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Antonio Brown continued to practice for the Patriots on Thursday, further increasing expectations that he will make his New England debut on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

The wide receiver has (for now) switched to No. 17 on his jersey, previously worn by the recently released Damoun Patterson. Ben Watson’s No. 84 and Gunner Olszewski’s No. 80 weren’t available for Brown because they are not allowed to change numbers after the start of the season.

Just because Brown is practicing doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be active on Sunday in Miami. There’s a recent precedent for that. The Patriots acquired Josh Gordon from the Browns during Week 3 of the 2018 season, but didn’t activate him for a game until Week 4.

Here is an absolute smorgasbord of videos from reporters in attendance at Brown’s first practice in No. 17, which depict the receiver catching a fade from Tom Brady.

Assuming his speed and explosiveness haven’t gone cliff-diving, Brown remains arguably the most dynamic receiver in football. He’s so good he may not need an extra week to “get up to speed”, as Brady put it, but it certainly wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

“There’s a lot to learn,” Brady said on Wednesday. “Again, coming in at this time of year I would say is challenging, but that’s just the situation. It happens a lot throughout the NFL. Different players change teams and so forth, and I think that’s happened over the years. So, just trying to do the best we can do.”

Sep 11, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown warms up during practice at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 11, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown warms up during practice at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick said Wednesday that the Patriots are taking it one day at a time with Brown’s legal situation. His continued presence at practice indicates that they will let the NFL decide whether to do anything with Brown’s roster status.

For now, expect him to play his first snaps as a Patriot within the next two games.

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 matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.