The Patriots held their fifth straight day of practice Tuesday, and now will get a much-needed day off. Rookie receiver Aaron Dobson, who has been playing with the first unit, did not practice and appeared to be favoring his right leg when watching from the sideline. And tempers started to run a little hot at the end of practice with Stevan Ridley and Kyle Arrington getting into a little skirmish. Arrington popped Ridley at the end of a run, Ridley threw the ball at Arrington, and the two had to be separated.
Tuesday’s practice was limited contact, with a lot of work in the red zone and at the goal line. Still haven’t seen much OL-DL work.
With that, let’s get to the practice report:
Physically unable to perform: Rob Gronkowski (back); WR Julian Edelman (foot); WR Mark Harrison (foot); OL Nick McDonald (undisclosed); DE Armond Armstead (non-football illness).
Red jersey: S Devin McCourty.
Missing: Dobson watched in street clothes, though the injury doesn’t appear major. RB Brandon Bolden (undisclosed) was nowhere to be found for the second straight day. DL Cory Grissom (undisclosed) has been missing all camp. The team said Armstead had surgery to clear out an unspecified infection and his return is unknown. G Dan Connolly sat out practice for the third straight day.
Undrafted rookie CB Stephon Morris came up lame in a one-on-one drill, appearing to injure his right hamstring.
■ Rookie TE Zach Sudfeld made the play of the day with a diving one-handed catch of a Tom Brady pass in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. Against double coverage, too.
■ In one-on-one drills, Danny Amendola made a great diving catch over the middle with Alfonzo Dennard in coverage, drawing big cheers from the crowd.
■ Really nice catch by rookie WR Quentin Sims on a jump ball from Brady, snatching it for a touchdown over rookie CB Logan Ryan.
■ Another nice play by Sudfeld, knocking the ball away from S Kanorris Davis to prevent an interception.
■ Rookie WR Kenbrell Thompkins made a beautiful diving catch on a deep pass from Brady in the corner of the end zone over Ryan and Devin McCourty.
■ In positional drills, Morris and DB Justin Green each made ridiculous leaping one-handed catches of lob passes.
WR Josh Boyce: With Dobson out, the fourth-round pick stepped up into the rotation and played with the starting unit, alongside Thompkins and Amendola.
OL Tyronne Green: Took most of the first-team reps at right guard, instead of Marcus Cannon. Connolly is still not practicing.
CB Ras-I Dowling: Took more snaps with the first unit than he has all camp, often replacing Dennard. He had two really nice pass breakups in one-on-one drills.
WR Michael Jenkins: Not to keep harping on him, but the 10-year veteran hasn’t shown much in camp and appears to be getting surpassed by several youngsters.
Dennard: With Dowling getting more reps Tuesday, Dennard took more of a back seat, although he has looked good in camp.
RB LeGarrette Blount: In an 11-on-11 drill, he went the wrong way for a handoff, forcing Brady to tuck the ball and take a knee.
Tim Tebow ran the third-team offense in team drills again. Amendola bailed him out on one throw by making a nice sliding catch on an out pass that was too low. Tebow also had a pretty terrible back-shoulder throw to Boyce that fell several feet out of reach. Tebow didn’t work in any pass-catching or special teams drills, but spent a good 25 minutes after practice working with a coach on throwing.
ODDS AND ENDS
■ Interesting to see Green work at right guard for most of the day and Cannon get some reps at right tackle, where he played a bit last year. Looks like the Patriots are putting several players at multiple positions in case of injury. Will Svitek also has been getting looks at right tackle.
■ The Patriots only practiced with nine wide receivers, with Dobson, Edelman, and Harrison on the sideline.
■ Much better day for Thompkins, who had a couple of bad drops Monday night. He showed impressive shake getting off the line of scrimmage to avoid Arrington and catch a slant pass. Thompkins ran with Amendola and Boyce for most of the day.
■ Ryan Mallett is showing better touch on his red zone passes but was upset with himself after missing a wide-open Kamar Aiken on a deep pass. Ryan got burned in coverage, which is starting to become a theme of camp.
■ S Steve Gregory, DT Marcus Forston, and DE Jermaine Cunningham continue to get work with the first unit. Forston could end up being a significant rotational player this year.
Thursday: Practice 2:20 p.m. (open to public)
Friday: Practice 2:20 p.m. (open to public)
Saturday: Practice 9 a.m. (open to public)Ben Volin can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin.