A number of notable Patriots players were missing from practice on Monday.
It’s well-documented that the New England Patriots are one of the most buttoned up franchises in the NFL, so this news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise among fans.
Per reports, there were numerous players — including Cam Newton, David Andrews, Isaiah Wynn and Damien Harris, among others — missing from Monday’s full padded practice. In normal circumstances, this lengthy list of absences would sound alarms, but there is presumably a method to the Patriots’ madness.
It could be that New England was protecting, for lack of a better term, these players from the media, which had access for an undisclosed portion of the practice.
It sounds crazy, but is this tactic really above the Patriots? No way. If there’s any team in the league that would resort to such measures, it’s the six-time Super Bowl champions. What makes it so plausible is that (to the best of our knowledge) none of the players listed have been dealing with any sort of injury.
On top of that, Newton and Harris have been two of the team’s most impressive performers at training camp. Why hold them out of practice and potentially derail their momentum if you didn’t have a larger purpose in mind?
Not even New England is paranoid enough to be worried that these reporters could leak its new schemes and formations to the public…right? Maybe they just…feel comfortable with the progress these players have made.
At least, as it pertains to Newton, the team was fine letting him walk out the door.
The most notable absence is Newton, who still hasn’t been named the starter with the start of the regular season less than three weeks away and could really use every practice to get more acclimated to the playbook.
However, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that the 31-year-old gunslinger was excused from today’s session.
We’re not entirely sure what all of this means, but fans in New England can at least take solace in the fact that running back Lamar Miller (knee) was present after being activated from the physically unable to perform list. Elsewhere, edge rusher Chase Winovich returned after missing the last few sessions to close the week for undisclosed reasons.
We wish we had more answers, but Patriots Nation shouldn’t read too much into how many players with held out of today’s practice. Chances are it has more to do with managing the situation than anything else.