FOXBOROUGH — A week into camp and the Patriots’ receiving ranks are starting to thin as three pass-catchers were dinged up Wednesday.
Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, and Matthew Slater all were injured during the fourth straight full-pads session of 2017. None of the injuries appeared serious but it is something to keep an eye on as the Patriots already are working without a full group.
Veteran Danny Amendola and second-year man Malcolm Mitchell have spent most of their time on the rehab field once the pads came on Saturday. Both stretch with the team and Amendola has participated in some punt return drills. Maintenance and prevention (both players missed time with injuries last season) are the likely reasons for their limited participation.
Undrafted rookie Cody Hollister suffered an apparent upper-body injury last Friday and hasn’t practiced since.
The depth chart also includes undrafted rookie Austin Carr as well as Tony Washington (one career reception in six games) and K.J. Maye (zero games played).
Edelman, the team’s leading receiver last season with 98 catches for 1,106 yards, had his right cleat off as he spent some time sitting on the upper field with head trainer Jim Whalen. He quickly returned to practice but appeared to lack his normal giddyup.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 200-pounder then got tangled up in the end zone with Jonathan Jones as the pair battled for a Tom Brady pass (which Jones came down with). Edelman was slow to get up, walked to the sideline, took his helmet off, and took a knee next to Brady. Edelman didn’t appear hampered in any way as he left the field at the end of the day.
Hogan was spotted with a big ice bag wrapped around his right knee late in practice. He later took it off and rode the stationary bike. Like Edelman, Hogan looked no worse for wear when he walked off following practice.
Slater moved gingerly to the medical tent before leaving practice for good about midway through the workout. He left via the back entrance with a member of the staff but under his own power.
In addition to the receivers, third-year center David Andrews got banged up late. He appeared fine after practice broke up.
No hard feelings
Edelman and cornerback Stephon Gilmore battled during one-on-one drills and 11-on-11s without any apparent lingering bad feelings from Tuesday’s brouhaha in which both players were banished from practice.
Edelman made a nice catch during an individual drill against Gilmore and later picked off Gilmore with a shoulder block on a run around left end by Brandon Boldin.
The pair chatted after the play as they headed back to their respective huddles and all seemed quiet.
Bill Belichick was asked if the two would be facing any punishment for the fight and he said those matters would be kept in-house.
“It’s between me and the team,’’ the coach said. “All discipline matters are.”
Rob Ninkovich was back on the field Wednesday helping out with some of the younger defensive ends. Though Ninkovich’s role has yet to be defined, Deatrich Wise already has classified him. “He’s a players’ coach in my mind,’’ the rookie said with a smile. “He’s a guy who played the same position as I do and also a coach, so he [knows] how I feel. He’s someone I can relate to.’’ Wise, who called Ninkovich’s advice “very valuable,” has been getting a lot of time with the first defense as the Patriots try to figure out their front-seven rotations . . . Some musical notes: “More Bounce to the Ounce” by Zapp played as the team bounced across the field during stretching and jogging. “Feel Me” from Tyga was appropriately blaring when offensive tackle Tony Garcia blasted fellow rookie Jason Thompson on a pulling block. It’s impossible not to sing “Stand up & Get Gronk!” instead of “Stand up & Get Crunk!” when “Halftime” by the Ying Yang Twins comes on at camp. FYI, that song also features Homebwoi. “Charlie Brown” by Coldplay, which invades Gillette Stadium Friday, also was played. Ryan Allen did not pull the ball away from Stephen Gostkowski during that song . . . When the Jaguars come to town next week they’ll be bringing tailback Tyler Gaffney with them. Gaffney, who signed with Jacksonville Wednesday, spent parts of the last three seasons with the Patriots, mainly as a member of the practice squad. He has yet to appear in a regular-season game . . . The crowds have naturally been smaller the last few days but expect a spike in attendance for Brady’s 40th birthday Thursday.