FOXBOROUGH — Cornerback Darrelle Revis did not finish minicamp practice Wednesday, missing at least the final hour of the session.
It is not known if Revis suffered an injury or even when he slipped away. He was on the field at the start of the practice, but at some point when the cornerbacks were together working on a drill Revis was no longer with them.
When the Patriots did 11-on-11 work, Logan Ryan took Revis’s place opposite Brandon Browner.
Bill Belichick was asked about Revis during a brief on-field interview with reporters, but his response was simply, “All the players that are out there practicing, and the ones that aren’t, aren’t.”
When pressed to elaborate on the superstar corner, Belichick said, “There are a lot of guys that didn’t practice today.”
Another player who didn’t practice was Alfonzo Dennard, who has not been spotted on the field for any of the spring practices. League sources said Dennard underwent shoulder surgery this offseason and he is still recuperating.
Dennard’s surgery took place before he reported to a Nebraska jail in early March, and he was permitted to leave the jail during his month-long stay to attend rehab appointments, a league source said. It is also believed Dennard is currently dealing with an unspecified illness.
The Patriots signed the 6-foot-4-inch Browner to give them a big, physical cornerback.
But on Wednesday 6-1 Kenbrell Thompkins got the better of his matchup with Browner on an end zone play, coming down with a perfectly-placed fade from Tom Brady near the left sideline.
“Pretty much it’s just all focus,” Thompkins said of making the play. “Trying to lock in on the ball, making sure I keep my eyes on the ball and making sure I locate it and as soon as I get my hands on it, make sure I put it away.”
Browner and Revis were brought in to fortify the secondary, but a byproduct of their presence is making the receivers better.
“Very challenging,” Thompkins said of facing the duo. “Brandon Browner, he’s a tremendous athlete, long arms and everything like that. It’s just great competition to have those guys out there and competing for the ball. It’s a great challenge for us at the wide receiver position, but it’s our job to come down with [the ball].”
Undrafted out of Cincinnati last year, Thompkins was looking like an all-time find last spring and summer, and especially after a six-catch, 127-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Falcons in Week 4.
But that game turned out to be the high point of Thompkins’s season — after recording 15 catches for 257 yards (17.1 yards per reception) and three touchdowns over the first four games, he played in just eight of the final 12 in the regular season, with 17 catches for 209 yards (12.1 YPR) and one touchdown. He was inactive for the AFC Championship game, having been listed with hip and concussion injuries.
After the disappointing end to last season, Thompkins was asked if he feels like he’s fighting for a job this year.
“I’m just out here trying to do my job. At the end of the day, I have no control over that. You’ll have to ask the coaches about that one,’’ he said. “But I’m out here having fun, trying to go out here and compete every day, make sure I’m working hard.’’
Items of interest
■ Receiver Aaron Dobson, defensive end Dominique Easley, defensive lineman Armond Armstead, receiver Wilson Van Hooser, defensive lineman Marcus Forston, and Dennard were not spotted; tight end Rob Gronkowski, quarterback Ryan Mallett, receiver Matthew Slater, left guard Logan Mankins, linebacker Deontae Skinner, defensive back Justin Green, tight end D.J. Williams, and receiver Josh Boyce were limited or part of the rehab group.
■ It was an inconsistent day for rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who ripped some beautiful throws to tight Justin Jones over the middle and had a great corner fade to fullback James Develin over double coverage for a touchdown, but was also picked off twice by Daxton Swanson. When Garoppolo has a clean pocket, he makes some gorgeous throws. But if he has to hesitate in the pocket, the pass is almost always incomplete.
■ New linebacker James Anderson got some work with Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower, while fellow linebacker Jamie Collins was in the offensive huddle on goal-line plays during one drill. Collins played quarterback in high school and might be the Patriots’ best pure athlete.
■ Rookie Jon Halapio got a little work with the starting offensive line at Mankins’s left guard spot, though second-year player Josh Kline got most of the work there.
■ Brady threw a beautiful corner post to Julian Edelman for a touchdown over safety Duron Harmon, and connected a couple of times with Danny Amendola in 11-on-11 drills, including one for a touchdown. Brady’s best throw-and-catch may have been a diving play by tight end Michael Hoomanawanui down the right seam in team drills, with Mayo in coverage.
■ Stephen Gostkowski attempted several 64-yard field goals toward the end of practice and connected on at least one.
■ The play of the day came from rookie receiver Reese Wiggins, who beat double coverage and made a phenomenal catch on a deep ball from Garoppolo for a 45-yard gain.