The intensity picks up at Patriots training camp with padded practices beginning on Monday. With that, the secondary is getting a major boost.
Three players, including two presumed starters, took the field for Monday’s practice after spending the first four days on PUP and NFI. Cornerbacks Jonathan Jones and Myles Bryant and safety Jabrill Peppers were all on the field in full pads.
Both Jones and Peppers both began camp on PUP. Jones was recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent last fall, while Peppers is coming off a torn ACL. Bryant was placed on the non-football injury list the day before camp began, although no reason was given.
Jones projects to be the team’s starting slot corner this year, the role he held last season before suffering that shoulder injury. Bryant took over a significant number of the snaps vacated when Jones was out. As for Peppers, his versatility could lead to him being used in a number of different ways, but he projects to be a contributor in the safety rotation and is also expected to compete for the starting punt return job.
With the three defensive backs activated, the Patriots have just three players left on the reserve lists. Running back James White remains on PUP as he works his way back from a hip injury, while rookie offensive linemen Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber are still on NFI.
In addition to those three players, the Patriots only had two other players missing from Monday’s practice. Brian Hoyer and Deatrich Wise weren’t on the field – both missed the final sessions of last week’s block of practices.