Joint practices have returned.
The Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will team up for two sessions in August, ahead of their exhibition game on Thursday, Aug. 19. Philadelphia will host the practices, scheduled for Aug. 16 and 17, at times to be determined.
Joint practices are often part of the Patriots’ summer schedule, but they were not allowed last season because of the NFL’s health and safety protocols instituted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In August 2019, the Patriots traveled to Detroit to practice with the Lions, and then spent another week in Nashville to work with the Titans. Coach Bill Belichick noted then the benefits of joint practices, particularly in aiding situational football skills and communication.
“They’re great,” he said at the time. “We’ve worked against each other, but we do what we do, and after you’ve seen enough of that — there’s just other things that we need to cover that we don’t do on one side of the ball or the other. This is an opportunity to see some of those and see different players doing them and different techniques or different schemes situationally.”
The Patriots previously worked with the Eagles for practices in Foxborough in 2014 and Philadelphia in 2013.
Much has since changed for the Eagles, who have a new coach in Nick Sirianni after finishing last season 4-11-1. The team has some notable young talent, including quarterback Jalen Hurts, running back Miles Sanders, and wide receiver DeVonta Smith, who was drafted 10th overall in April.
The trip will also represent a bit of a homecoming for new Patriots defensive back Jalen Mills and wide receiver Nelson Agholor, both of whom were drafted by the Eagles.
The Patriots are scheduled to begin training camp on July 28.
In addition to taking on the Eagles, the team will play two other exhibition games: vs. Washington (Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.) and at the Giants (Aug. 29, 6 p.m.).