FOXBOROUGH — Cam Newton put an end to any speculation about his status Tuesday morning, showing up front and under center a day after missing his first workout of the summer.
The Patriots practiced in full pads for the second consecutive day, and Newton looked free and easy, dancing a bit during stretching, hustling through agility drills, and throwing to staffers during the window in which media were allowed to observe.
Newton has set the tone for practices with his energy and personality, and that was back on display Tuesday. Defensive end Deatrich Wise said the team has really responded to the new quarterback, not only on the field but all over the building.
“Energy is contagious. We love the energy that Cam brings,” Wise said on a video call after practice. “He’s always positive. He is a very positive guy and brings energy to the field, energy on the field, energy in the weight room, energy in the meeting rooms, and the locker room.”
Newton has encouraged the guys on his side of the ball and chirped defenders during some of the more lively sessions. To Wise, an energy guy himself, it’s all good. It sparks a buzz, no matter if you’re one of Newton’s receiving targets or a target of his trash talk.
“He’s always an upbeat kind of guy,” said Wise, “so having that around definitely picks the team up if we don’t have any energy.”
Wise emphasized the importance of having a positive vibe around the team, especially during a time when current events can leave some discouraged.
“The things that are going on in the world can bring people down, can make people lose hope, can definitely sway people to different mind-sets,” said the fourth-year veteran, “and it affects everybody differently — from the pandemic, and injustice going on in the world, from all the other things that are going on.
“One thing that brings us together is the leadership that we have on this team. Being able to not only play together, but aside from the game, creating a space for us. A lot of people have different thoughts and don’t have outlets to vent, so they may use sports, they may use football to vent.
“Then there are other ways that players talk and vent on the team to spray that positive energy that we talked about. Whether it is in group circles or in one-on-ones, I feel like we have leaders that people always pull aside and talk and express themselves in multiple ways so that [they can] can go about their day in a positive manner.”
Wise values being a part of group that encourages conversation and is accepting of everyone’s participation.
“That is one thing I feel like this team is great at — coming together, being open, being lighthearted and also bringing the energy both on the field and off the field, in all categories,” he said.
Julian Edelman has had a reduced workload this summer, taking some practices off completely and doing only sporadic work in others, as it appears the team is managing the wear and tear on the 34-year-old’s body.
He acknowledged the new schedule has been a bit of an adjustment.
“Ah, yeah, it is,” he said after a practice in which he led the receivers’ line during individual drills. “I’ve been playing here — this is my 12th year — this is the first time I’ve really done this.”
Edelman was not about to get into specifics about why he’s not a full participant every day.
“We don’t talk about health here,” he said. “I don’t even know if I can. So, I don’t want to, you know? We don’t talk about that.”
He also made it clear that he’s done talking about Tom Brady after he was asked about any similarities his former quarterback has with Newton.
“I’m not here to talk about players on other teams,” Edelman said. “I’m enjoying playing with Cam, so we’re going to leave it at that.”
Running back Lamar Miller said he felt “great” after going through a second straight padded practice. He had been on the PUP list until Monday. A two-time 1,000-yard rusher, Miller tore an ACL last August, and now has about a week to secure a roster spot. “I’m just trying to go out there and show that I’m dependable,” he said. “A guy that can do my job and make plays when my number is called.” … Center David Andrews, left tackle Isaiah Wynn, running back Damien Harris, cornerbacks J.C. Jackson and Michel Jackson, and defensive linemen Beau Allen, Nick Thurman, and Michael Barnett were absent from practice … With no joint practices or preseason games, Edelman was asked if the team has done any live tackling in preparation for the regular season. “I’m not falling for that one, bubs,” he quipped. “Can’t tell you about our practices.” … The Patriots worked out punters Alex Kinney (Colorado), Tyler Newsome (Notre Dame), and Justin Vogel (Miami), as well as long snappers Scott Daly (Notre Dame), and Colton Taylor (Virginia Tech) … The NFL and NFL Players Association released the COVID-19 testing results from Aug. 21-29, and the numbers continue to indicate that the protocols have been a huge success. The league administered 58,621 tests to 8,739 players and team personnel, revealing four new confirmed positive tests among players and six among other personnel.