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patriots training camp report

Patriots training camp report: Linebacker Jahlani Tavai goes down

Jahlani Tavai signed as a free agent last year after two seasons with the Lions.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots had their first scary moment of training camp when linebacker Jahlani Tavai was injured on the final rep of 11-on-11 work Thursday morning.

Tavai was a back-side linebacker away from the ball on a play in which Bailey Zappe rolled right and threw incomplete to J.J. Taylor.

It was unclear what happened to Tavai, who was immediately surrounded by teammates and members of the medical staff. After a few minutes on the field, Tavai walked gingerly to the medical tent with the help of two trainers.

Bill Belichick and linebackers coaches Stephen Belichick and Jerod Mayo all went to the blue tent with Tavai, who was acquired last season.


Earlier this week, Belichick predicted during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio that Tavai would be a “big factor on all four downs” this season.


Not participating: OLB Matthew Judon (undisclosed), TE Dalton Keene (undisclosed), RB James White (PUP), OLs Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber (nonfootball injury).

This was the first missed practice for Judon.

QB Brian Hoyer, who returned in a limited capacity Wednesday after a four-day absence, was a full participant, taking his first competitive snaps since the first day of camp.

CB Malcolm Butler and S Jabrill Peppers returned after missing Wednesday’s session.

Keene, White, and Hines were spotted doing conditioning/rehab work on the lower field.


DRESS CODE: Full pads.


Nothing too spectacular as the team worked on more fundamentals, including substituting, personnel matching, and getting ready for game action, which comes next Thursday when the Giants arrive. There was a great catch by Nelson Agholor during individual drills when he fought off the sun and made an over-the-shoulder grab. He didn’t have to deal with a defender, but it was still aesthetically pleasing.

Nelson Agholor had a nice play to his credit.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff



▪ Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux had a pair of run stuffs on Ty Montgomery. Godchaux isn’t flashy, he’s just always in the right spot.

▪ Josh Uche knifed through the offense and got a “sack” on Mac Jones during the 11-on-11 work. Uche also has been impressive during his individual battles.

▪ Shaun Wade is quietly having a standout camp. The second-year corner flashed nice closing speed to break up a Zappe rope intended for Tre Nixon. That play took place while a helicopter was landing, creating some noise and much-welcomed breeze.


▪ Agholor and Butler got tangled up during individual drills, with both hitting the turf. The veterans gave each other a sort of “wasn’t my fault” shrug and got back in line.

▪ Rookie running back Pierre Strong Jr. was a full participant for the first time this summer. He received only one carry, but his return provides a depth boost.

▪ With Rhamondre Stevenson on limited rep count, Taylor received a lot more run, and he displayed good bounce, hands, and open-field elusiveness, catching three straight passes before dropping one.

With temperatures rising, Kendrick Bourne showed off a belly tattoo.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

▪ Cameron McGrone had a run stuff on Kevin Harris.

▪ Justin Herron (false start) and DaMarcus Mitchell (neutral zone infraction) ran penalty laps.

▪ One of the selections the Patriots warmed up to was “Public Service Announcement” by Jay-Z, which was the song Tom Brady used to take the field to on game days.

▪ The blistering heat resulted in the smallest crowd of camp.



Friday: In-stadium practice open to Foxborough residents and season-ticket members, 7 p.m. (gates open at 6).

Saturday: Off day.

Sunday: TBA.

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