Some news and notes on this Tuesday:
– This is a big week for the New England Patriots, who are back on the field beginning today through Thursday for the mandatory portion of their minicamp. Despite the recent absences of veteran players who skipped the voluntary portions previously, this should be a week where we see those players return. Among those names is Isaiah Wynn, who was not present during any portion of the recent practices. Trent Brown should hopefully be another player who is back with the group after being on hand initially but he also missed the last public practice.
– Wide receiver N’Keal Harry is another name who is expected to be on hand and his situation is worth monitoring. Mike Reiss made the suggestion in his Sunday column about the receiver potentially asking to switch to tight end to compete for the third spot behind Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Reiss typically doesn’t throw out suggestions without some context, so it will be hard not to be a little curious to see if there’s anything potentially there behind that comment. However, if Harry is simply running routes with the receivers and it’s business as usual, that may tell us his days could instead simply be numbered.
– Josh Uche remains another player who will be one to keep an eye on. His role recently seems to be increased and Bill Belichick and the coaching staff have been signing his praises so far during these sessions. With the veterans returning, which will include Matthew Judon, it should be interesting to find out where he’s lining up on the field and if he still sees a similar number of reps.
– Rookie receiver Tyquan Thornton is another player who will also be worth watching. The speedy wideout has reportedly looked impressive thus far despite his thin frame, but seeing him start working against veterans in the secondary should be interesting to warch. Thornton was a fearless player in college and the size of who he was going against didn’t seem to phase him. However, things are certainly different now that he’s in the NFL and we’ll hopefully get a better sense of where he is as the intensity begins to heat up with more veterans on the field.
– Rookie defensive backs Jack Jones and Marcus Jones will also likely be in the spotlight this week. Jack has impressed so far and the news has seemed relatively positive about him. He’s reportedly been as advertised. He’s looked quick, smooth, and has done a good job staying with each player he’s been asked to cover. We’ve heard little about Marcus thus far, so it should be interesting to see if that changes this week.
– Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris are also two players that will be worth watching. With James White still a question mark heading into this season and J.J. Taylor having a tough rookie season, the opportunity seems to be there for both players to potentially make an impact. Harris’ size has stood out while there hasn’t been much reported on Strong Jr. during the two previous public sessions. With media access expanding this week, we’ll see if that changes.
– The Chicago Bears reportedly violated the league’s “no-contact” rules when it came to OTAs recently, which apparently forced them to cancel their session on Tuesday. According to ProFootballTalk.com, the violation happened in May as new Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is apparently learning the hard way that if the rules are violated, the NFLPA and the NFL will find out and act accordingly.
– The Buffalo Bills have apparently had conversations with recently retired Ryan Fitzpatrick to retire as a member of the team. The 39-year old, who played for nine teams during his NFL career, has instead said that he doesn’t believe that’s going to happen. “It’s not like one particular team is going to hold a press conference for me,” Fitzpatrick said via USA TODAY. He did go on to praise Bills fans as being a group he related to. “Those are my people,” said Fitzpatrick. “I feel like I understand them and they understand me. It was one of the great pleasures of my career playing there in Buffalo.”
– Despite an offseason with a fair amount of rhetoric between both sides, Deebo Samuel has reportedly joined his teammates in San Francisco for this week’s mandatory minicamp. While Samuel is present, reports seem to indicate he may still not participate in the on-field sessions as the two sides continue ironing out their differences. 49ers GM John Lynch remains adamant that Samuel isn’t going to be traded. “Well, we haven’t traded him. I’ve used the word ‘fool.’ I’d be a fool to trade him,” Lynch said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “And, so, yes. He’ll be a part of the 49ers.”
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Deebo Samuel Hunter Henry Isaiah Wynn J.J. Taylor Jack Jones James White Jonnu Smith Josh Uche Kevin Harris Marcus Jones Matt Eberflus Matthew Judon N'Keal Harry Pierre Strong Jr. Ryan Fitzpatrick Trent Brown Tyquan Thornton