FOXBOROUGH — The news from the Patriots’ media-attended organized team activity on Tuesday was not about what happened on the field, but rather what was happening on the sideline.
There were three players who were tended to for injuries, the most notable being Alfonzo Dennard.
The cornerback suffered what appeared to be an injury to his upper left arm — it appeared to be the shoulder — late in the session, during 11-on-11 work. Members of the medical staff checked on Dennard for several minutes on the sideline before the second-year player was carted off the field.
A seventh-round pick out of Nebraska last year, Dennard started seven games at corner. He entered this season as the presumptive starter opposite Aqib Talib.
It is not yet known how severe Dennard’s injury is, but anything long-term will shake up the Patriots’ secondary yet again, and could lead to Ras-I Dowling getting another chance to start. Dowling, who has spent the bulk of his first two seasons on injured reserve, was thought of highly enough that he started the first game of the season as a rookie.
Also Tuesday, tight end Jake Ballard, who missed all of last season rehabbing from a torn ACL, suffered an ankle injury that a league source termed minor; running back Stevan Ridley tweaked his right hamstring.
Though neither played another snap, both remained on the field the rest of practice.
The Eagles announced that they will hold joint practices with the Patriots Aug. 6-7, in advance of the teams’ preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field Aug. 9.
The practices will be held at Philadelphia’s facility but will be closed to the public.
It is not a surprise that the Patriots and Eagles would be sharing a practice field: Bill Belichick and first-year coach Chip Kelly have mutual admiration for one another, and New England has incorporated some of Kelly’s offensive teachings into its offense.
Kelly told Eagles reporters that it was Belichick who suggested getting the teams together during training camp.
The Patriots also play the Buccaneers and Lions in the preseason; both teams have head coaches with ties to Belichick — Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano and Belichick have close ties and Detroit’s Jim Schwartz worked for Belichick in Cleveland — so at least one other set of joint practices could be in the offing.
If you’ve ever attended a Patriots training camp session and paid attention to the offensive linemen, you’ve seen Dante Scarnecchia at work.
Significantly smaller than the players he coaches, but with a booming voice and exacting standards, Scarnecchia has the respect of not just those around the organization, but from the NFL at large.
At 65, Scarnecchia is the oldest member of the coaching staff, and has been with New England in some coaching capacity for 30 of the last 32 seasons. Yet this spring, it’s been noted that Brian Daboll, brought back to the Patriots with the nebulous title of coaching assistant, has been working with the offensive line with Scarnecchia.
Asked if Daboll’s presence means Scarnecchia might be close to retiring, he brushed aside the notion.
“I’m not going to talk about me at all,” he said. “Ask me any question you want about the team; the team’s first. I don’t have anything to say about me.
“I love doing this job, I’ll do it as long as I can do it . . . I really like teaching the game, whether it’s in the classroom or on the field. I think that it just brings so much joy to me. I like coming to the office every day and sometimes I actually can’t wait to get to the office during the day; that’s why I won’t sleep very long at night.”
After serving as tight ends, defensive assistant/linebackers, and special teams coach with the Patriots, Scarnecchia was named offensive line coach in 1999. When Belichick was hired a year later, he added the title of assistant head coach.
D.J. Hernandez, the older brother of Aaron Hernandez and a graduate assistant at Iowa, was on the sidelines to observe Tuesday’s session . . . Rookie receiver T.J. Moe, who was waived/injured by New England on Friday because of a torn Achilles’, cleared waivers and was placed on the team’s injured reserve on Monday . . . Tuesday was the final OTA session media were allowed to attend, but the Patriots will hold their final two (of 10) on Thursday and Friday. Mandatory minicamp is June 11-13, after which players will be off until training camp . . . He may be playing for the Eagles, but Patrick Chung is still involved in Boston: the safety and his wife will be at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center Monday to present a check from their Chung Changing Lives charity to launch the center’s Summer Music Academy for Real Teens (S.M.A.R.T.).