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Patriots’ Jarrett Stidham back at practice after undergoing tests at hospital

Jarrett Stidham was at practice on Friday, but he appeared to be moving gingerly.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — Jarrett Stidham took it easy at Friday’s Patriots practice after spending part of Thursday night undergoing tests for a lower-body injury.

      A league source confirmed the quarterback was at Mass. General Hospital and that his tests, probably X-rays and an MRI, came back negative. NFL Media reported Stidham is dealing with a hip issue.

     Stidham doesn’t appear to be dealing with anything too serious and is expected to be at New England’s next practice, scheduled for Sunday. The players are off Saturday.

     “Yeah, Coach [Bill Belichick] held him today but I’m pretty sure he’ll be out there and ready to roll the next time we practice,’' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said in a video call.

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      A smiling Stidham walked up to Friday’s practice as normal and did some throwing. He also participated in team stretching and jogging, though he appeared to be moving gingerly.

     He threw during early individual drills and appeared unencumbered as he fired passes to the tight ends as Brian Hoyer and Cam Newton worked with the receivers.

     Stidham stood on the sideline with teammates and didn’t take any reps during the team periods, instead leaving those snaps to Hoyer and Newton.

     None of the team periods were competitive as the practice was done at half speed and had more of a walk-through feel.

    Stidham is locked in a three-way battle for the starter’s job with Newton and Hoyer. 

     Stidham has had some strong moments in camp but also has seven interceptions this week.

    Quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who said he “didn’t know much” about Stidham’s injury, has been pleased with the second-year player’s progress.

     “I think he has done a really nice job. He’s worked extremely hard, exceptionally hard since I have arrived, the relationship he has with Josh, I was learning the offense when I arrived in late January and then three months later we’re there teaching it to a first-year player on virtual, or at that point going into his second year,’' Fisch said Friday.

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“It was great to really listen to Jarrett at that point in time and then as we have gotten into the development come June and now July and August, I think he’s continuing to build, and I really enjoy working with him and watching his knowledge grow.”

     McDaniels has really enjoyed the competition and though no hard deadline has been set for picking a starter, the Patriots open the season in three weeks, so a decision looms.

      “I think at this point in time in camp, the competition we’re seeing across the board on our football team at each position offensively, is really what we’re looking for because I think that’s what makes us better,’' he said. “So, I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I think that the guys out there are working really hard. They’re getting better, they’re making progress. And when those decisions are made, we’ll go ahead and react appropriately.”    

J.J. Taylor big contributor

     It might seem logical to think that 5-foot-6-inch, 185-pound J.J. Taylor could get lost in an NFL crowd that contains a behemoths at every turn.

     Taylor, however, has been a big contributor this week. The undrafted rookie running back is getting a ton of touches as the Patriots offense chugs along without Sony Michel (foot) and Lamar Miller (knee), who are still on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

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      Taylor has shown elusiveness as a runner, receiver, and a contributor on special teams through five practices. His quickness, hands, and route running have led to a lot of snaps.

      As Taylor has danced through defenders, Ivan Fears has had visions of a former Patriots back running through his head.

     “Little Dion [Lewis], that’s what he is,” the longtime running backs coach said Friday. “Little Dion. Exciting, fun. He’s got some great hurdles to overcome, and the kid battles his butt off to try to get that done. We’re very pleased with what we’ve seen from him, we really are. We’ll see how far he can carry it.”

      Lewis, who checked in at 5-8, was a three-pronged threat for the Patriots from 2015-17.

      “Have you seen him out there?” Fears asked. “Same quickness, same suddenness. He’s a hell of a pass-catcher, guy’s got great vision. Ah, there’s a [boat]load of stuff that’s good about him. He’s got to learn to play bigger than his size.”


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.