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Receiver Tre Nixon keeps up the good work, and other observations from Patriots minicamp

Wide receiver Tre Nixon was a seventh-round pick in 2021.Steven Senne/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — Of Mac Jones’s 18 completed passes (out of 24 attempts) Wednesday, three initiated chest bumps and cheers from his Patriots teammates on the sideline.

One found tight end Jonnu Smith. In minicamp attire of a jersey, shorts, and helmet, Smith made a diving effort to secure Jones’s bullet.

The other two found the same target: wide receiver Tre Nixon.

As Nixon ran to the end zone for a deep pass, defensive back Jonathan Jones followed closely behind. As the ball made its descent, Nixon extended his arm and snatched the ball one-handed, completing Jones’s longest pass of the day.


The Patriots squad erupted into chaos as Jones made his way to the end zone himself to share a celebratory handshake with Nixon.

Tre Nixon, seen here during a practice last season, is off to a good start during the spring workouts.Steven Senne/Associated Press

It was the second straight day Nixon made headlines from the minicamp field. His one-handed scoop made it three “play of the day”-caliber catches in the two days.

The second-year receiver was originally drafted by New England in the seventh round in 2021 and signed a futures contract in mid-January.

The chemistry between Nixon and Jones seems to be booming, and fellow receiver Nelson Agholor bluntly shared his feelings about Nixon’s minicamp showing.

“Honestly, I don’t think there’s anyone that trains as hard as Tre Nixon, in my opinion,” Agholor said. “He has busted his butt since he’s got here and I have a lot of respect for him and all he does.

“He just stays quiet and works hard, so I’m happy you guys are getting a chance to see a glimpse of his hard work and I know he’s going to continue to work hard.”

Wynn tries to get it right

Isaiah Wynn turned heads Tuesday when he got reps at right tackle. Since 2019, the first-round draft pick has started on the left, and according to him, he hasn’t played the right side since a small trial stint in his rookie season.


However, the quirk continued Wednesday.

Although he was reluctant to say much more than he’ll play “wherever they need me,” Wynn did say the change will take some muscle-memory adjustment.

Is right tackle in Isaiah Wynn's future?Barry Chin/Globe Staff

“Playing left all that time and then having to flip, that’s like you being right handed and then you trying to write with your left hand,” Wynn said. “You get used to it the more you work at it, the more you practice, so again I’ll be wherever they need me to be at.”

On Tuesday, Wynn spent an extended period of time with senior adviser Matt Patricia. The former Patriots defensive coordinator has leaned in on the offensive side of things since returning to New England this season.

“Coach Matty P, he’s been around for a while now,” Wynn said. “Especially having him on the offensive side of the ball, he knows everything about defense, so we also see that. It’s been great.”

Wynn did not attend OTAs earlier this offseason, making minicamp his debut to team activities.

“It’s volunteer, I was working,” Wynn said on his absence. “I wasn’t here last year for OTAs and all that, so I did the same training and all that. This ain’t new.”

Coach Bill Belichick did not say whether Wynn’s reps at right tackle are a permanent change.

A guest from Utah

On Tuesday, Belichick took a turn snapping to Mac Jones.


“Coach has always been really hands-on from the time I got here,” center David Andrews said. “l’d maybe work with him on the snaps a little bit.”

But on Wednesday, Belichick spent the better part of minicamp on the sideline, chatting with Utah State defensive coordinator/safeties coach Ephraim Banda. Banda, 40, previously coached at the University of Miami; any ties to New England or the Patriots remain unclear.

Singer on the sideline

Rock star Jon Bon Jovi came to Wednesday’s minicamp, spending most of his time on the sideline chatting with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and numerous players. Belichick and Bon Jovi are known to have a long-term friendship.

Taking attendance

Receiver Kendrick Bourne practiced Wednesday after being absent Tuesday. Running back James White was present but not practicing and defensive back Marcus Jones sported a red noncontact jersey. Defensive lineman Carl Davis Jr. was absent, as were defensive lineman Byron Cowart, kickers Nick Folk and Quinn Nordin, and offensive linemen Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber.

Jayna Bardahl can be reached at jayna.bardahl@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jaynabardahl.