Some Patriots News on this Wednesday:
– Some bad news for veteran defensive back Malcolm Butler, who saw his comeback season come to an end before it really got started. Butler, who played with the first unit last Thursday night and was in on 23 defensive snaps along with two on special teams, suffered a reported hip injury during the contest that will now sideline him for the season. Butler looked a little rusty in his first game but overall played relatively well, including making an alert fumble recovery that helped thwart a Giants drive after New York had gotten into Patriots territory. Whether or not he’ll be able to attempt another comeback in 2023 remains to be seen, and it’s definitely an abrupt end to what many had hoped would be a successful return for the former Super Bowl hero.
– Butler’s injury hurts New England’s depth as they already also lost Joejuan Williams to a shoulder injury. However, Williams’ stock had been falling and his likelihood of making the roster was questionable after what had been a rough start to training camp. Unfortunately, with Butler now going down, it challenges their depth and will likely see them keeping an eye on who gets released in the coming weeks to potentially try and add some additional bodies to their roster.
– Tuesday saw the first day of joint practice with the Carolina Panthers, which changed things up from the norm and gave the New England Patriots new opponents to work against. Overall, the Patriots held their own as the offense had moments where they were able to move the football while the defense looked stout against both Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. Mayfield got the nod ahead of Darnold and started things off on Tuesday, which saw him drive the Panthers’ offense downfield before New England’s defense eventually stalled the drive at the goal line as the clubs worked on situational football.
– Defensive back Jalen Mills continued his strong camp on Tuesday, with Mills finishing with several pass break-ups which included a nice play against D.J. Moore for what would have been a touchdown. Mills has looked more comfortable so far heading into his second season and looks like he’s on pace for what will hopefully be a productive year in the secondary.
– Tight end Devin Asiasi continues to have a productive camp. He caught a touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer on Tuesday, which came as New England was working on a two-minute drill with time winding down. After a couple of difficult seasons, Asiasi seems like he may finally be working his way into the tight end depth chart behind Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, which would potentially give them a little better option ahead of Matt Sokol.
– Mac Jones looked better on Tuesday and appeared to have more time to throw than in recent practices. One of the highlights from the session was a 40-yard strike to DeVante Parker, which saw Parker make the grab against double coverage as Jones threw it to a spot where Parker was able to go up and get the football. Jones didn’t play Thursday night against New York and it will be interesting to see if he gets any snaps this week as with the shortened preseason this is essentially the “dress-rehearsal” game. As a result, if he doesn’t play Thursday, we probably won’t see him again until Week 1.
– There were a couple of ugly moments on Tuesday where fights broke out during practice, including a major one that saw several players ejected including some from New England. Carolina’s Kenny Robinson and Phil Hoskins were both kicked out of practice following the altercation, while Kristian Wilkerson and Kendrick Bourne were the two Patriots who also made the mistake of getting involved and were also ejected. The play reportedly happened following a carry by Damien Harris, which erupted after he was tackled on the sideline, which reportedly led to some pushing and shoving and things escalated from there.
– Another altercation happened a few plays later between Panthers linebacker Frankie Luva and James Ferentz after Ferentz drove him out of bounds while blocking downfield and Luva took offense to it. Both players also ended up being ejected.
– Meanwhile, Matthew Judon, who joined several other starters as a spectator last Thursday night, had a big day on Tuesday as he made plays all over the field including two sacks. It was a nice showing by the veteran, who didn’t play on Thursday night after Bill Belichick held out most of the starting defense, including Judon, on the sidelines during the exhibition opener.
– Both teams will again practice Wednesday morning for the final time before they take the field Friday night’s match-up at Gillette Stadium.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Baker Mayfield Bill Belichick Brian Hoyer Carolina Panthers D.J. Moore Damien Harris Devante Parker Devin Asiasi Frankie Luva Hunter Henry Jalen Mills James Ferentz Joejuan Williams Jonnu Smith Kendrick Bourne Kenny Robinson Kristian Wilkerson Mac Jones Malcolm Butler Matt Sokol Matthew Judon New England Patriots Phil Hoskins Sam Darnold