patriots notebook

Minor aches and pains adding up at Patriots practice

Bill Belichick, who ended the experiment of cameras atop the QBs’ helmets, gets an up-close view of drills.
jonathan wiggs/globe staff
Bill Belichick, who ended the experiment of cameras atop the QBs’ helmets, gets an up-close view of drills.

FOXBOROUGH — Less than one hour into Friday’s practice, Michael Jenkins visited the training table.

The veteran wide receiver winced as a trainer taped a bag of ice around his left hamstring.

Afterward, Jenkins removed his gloves, loosened his shoelaces, and walked slowly toward the sideline.


He remained on the field for the rest of practice, but did not participate in any more drills.

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Although the injury did not appear serious — after practice, Jenkins removed the wrap and played with his two children on the field — it pointed to a larger trend for the Patriots.

Minor injuries are adding up.

Cornerback Ras-I Dowling, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, and offensive lineman Marcus Cannon were all absent from practice on Friday.

Offensive lineman Dan Connolly and running back Brandon Bolden both wore full pads but did not participate in team drills.


“We have a lot of guys who are in the day-to-day category,” Bill Belichick said Friday morning.

Connolly and Cannon’s absences create a substantial void on the offensive line. Before Cannon’s injury, the 25-year-old appeared as the front-runner to start at right guard. Instead, Tyronne Green — signed July 25 — took a bulk of the first-team snaps for the past two days.

The Patriots announced the signings of two offensive linemen, bolstering the constantly thinning group.

Luke Patterson, a second-year-veteran, spent time on the Chiefs’ practice squad over the past two seasons. Rookie Brice Schwab, an undrafted free agent, was recently released by the Buccaneers.

In corresponding moves, New England waived defensive lineman Travis Chappelear and long snapper Mike Zupancic. Chappelear spent one day with the Patriots.

Talk from Tebow


Tim Tebow addressed the media for the second time during training camp — and the third time in his tenure with the Patriots. The session lasted less than three minutes.

Once again, reporters peppered Tebow for his thoughts on a former Florida teammate in the headlines. The Eagles announced on Friday that wide receiver Riley Cooper would take a leave of absence from training camp to meet with counselors. Cooper came under scrutiny after a video surfaced this week showing Cooper using a racial slur toward an African-American security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert.

Cooper and Tebow roomed together at Florida.

“I haven’t seen everything that’s happened,” Tebow said. “I’ve been pretty busy. I’m going to wait to comment until I hear what happened.”

Tebow, when probed again, repeated a variation of the same line.

As for his on-field progress? Tebow said he’s “feeling good” and “working hard.”

Tebow once again ran a few read-option plays. On five snaps in 11-on-11 work, he carried the ball three times and threw once — a completion to tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.

“I’m just trying to get better every single day,” Tebow said. “That’s our goal and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Tebow, the clear third-string quarterback during camp, has been spending extra time with offensive assistant Brian Daboll during, and sometimes after, practice, working on Tebow’s throwing motion among other things.

“He’s a very bright football mind, offensive mind,” Tebow said of Daboll, who was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator last season. “He’s been around the game a lot, been a lot of places, really understands it well. When [offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] is busy doing so many things, sometimes Daboll can get in there and really help, as well.”

Tebow said he feels more comfortable with the offense every day.

“There is some carryover from Denver,” Tebow said, who also said working alongside Tom Brady “has been a big help.”

“We’ve been working out here every day together and trying to push other and that’s awesome because he’s one of the best of all time,” Tebow said.

Brady called Tebow a “great guy” who is “fun to be around.”

“He’s had a lot of experience and a lot of productivity, so we have good conversations,” Brady said. “He loves playing football and those are usually the type of guys that do well.”

Hold that thought

Lights, camera — and maybe no more action.

The Patriots seem to have ditched their experiment of attaching cameras to each quarterback’s helmet.

For the second straight day, the cameras were missing.

The idea was to provide footage from a different vantage point. It received mixed reviews.

McDaniels said watching the tape sometimes gave him a headache.

Belichick said some of the footage was helpful. The experiment did have flaws.

“There’s some aspect to make note of that’s good,” Belichick said. “It certainly doesn’t give you the whole picture. I’ve coached 38 years without ’em, it’s not like it’s an absolute necessity. I think you’re always looking for something a little bit better.”

Back in business

Wide receiver Julian Edelman fully participated in team drills on Friday. He rejoined the team Thursday after beginning training camp on the physically unable to preform list. Edelman caught passes and spent time fielding punts. He limped after one route and walked gingerly toward the sideline but did not miss a snap. Before practice, Belichick was asked to assess Edelman’s return. “Long way to go,” Belichick said. “Been a long time since he played football. He’s got a long way to go.” . . . Devin McCourty practiced almost exclusively as a cornerback. He had converted from cornerback to safety midway through last season and practiced mostly at safety to begin camp. The move came as second-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard once again saw a decreased workload in drills — especially with first-team groupings.

Emily Kaplan can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @emilymkaplan.