FOXBORO (CBS) — The Patriots hit the practice fields of Gillette Stadium Tuesday morning for joint practice No. 2 with the Chicago Bears. Here are some observations and thoughts:
— Rob Gronkowski wasn’t out on the field today (more on that in a bit), along with RB Dion Lewis (PUP), RB Brandon Bolden, TE Bryce Williams, LB Shea McClellin, G Jonathan Cooper, OT Sebastian Vollmer, and DL Jabaal Sheard.READ MORE: Veteran Sportscaster Bob Neumeier Dies
Tre’ Jackson and Danny Amendola were out there but not practicing with the team. Same goes for special teamer Nate Ebner, who is back after playing for the USA rugby team in the Summer Olympics in Rio.
— Tight end Clay Harbor appeared to get injured after an awkward hit during an 11 vs 11 drill, but he walked off the field after practice was over and looked OK.
— Bill Belichick and John Fox spent a good part of the early portion of practice talking, probably hoping to avoid the skirmishes that occurred Monday when Malcolm Butler was ejected for fighting with Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery.
— However, it was a pretty chippy practice once again. Julian Edelman got popped to the ground early by defensive back Harold Jones-Quartey, which was followed up by some shouting and pushing. Aaron Dobson jumped to the defense of Edelman, which looks to be a good sign.
— On a run play in 11 vs 11, Martellus Bennett was knocked to the ground by former Patriot Akiem Hicks and the two started yapping at each other. Hicks was loud and animated all day.
Bennett, the former Bear, then got into it with LB Lamarr Houston on another run play. Houston was sent to the sideline by Fox.
— Later on, in another 11 vs 11 drill, Bryan Stork got upset and pushed and shoved LB John Timu — and then head-butted him. Stork was sent into the locker room by Bill Belichick. Not a smart move by Stork, who needs the reps and has missed some time in camp due to a concussion.READ MORE: Beverly Man Dies While Hiking On New Hampshire Trail
— Tom Brady had a good day, on a day where the Pats brought an intensity level equal to the intra-squad scrimmage they had earlier in camp. Other than some incomplete passes during receiver vs defensive back drills (where it looked like PI could have been called on several Bears players), Brady was sharp. During one 7 vs 7 drill, Brady was 7-for-7 and made a number of nice passes.
— Brady spent a good deal of time chatting with and throwing to Bennett on a field by themselves.
— CB Justin Coleman was having a good day until he got beat on a deep ball from Bryan Hoyer to WR Joshua Bellamy.
— The play of the day was a Jimmy Garoppolo-to-Bennett pass in 7 vs 7 drills that tipped off the tight end’s hands and into the arms of Julian Edelman for a touchdown.
— Rookie Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason appear to be the favorites for the starting guard jobs along the New England offensive line.
— There were lots of sprints for both teams at the end of practice before they were finished.
— Let’s go back to Rob Gronkowski’s Monday for a quick thought. Gronk suffered an injury in the first 7 vs 7 drill he participated in, an injury that NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reported wasn’t serious. That goes along the lines of what I saw. I had my binoculars on Gronk the whole time and when he went up for the ball, I saw his hips/legs twist a bit awkwardly. He had a slight grimace on his face when he took his helmet off, but he seemed more annoyed than anything else.
Gronkowski walked around a bit, chatted with Tom Brady and then trainer Jim Whalen, who he then went down to a lower field with for about 10 minutes before leaving for the day. That leads me to believe it’s nothing bad, judging by the way he looked, which was irritated more than anything else. We already know he won’t play in the preseason (he hasn’t since 2012), so the next time we’ll see him doing anything full speed should be September 11 in Arizona.MORE NEWS: Candlelight Vigil Scheduled In Memory Of 5-Year-Old Elijah Lewis
— Don’t forget to tune in to WBZ-TV on Thursday for preseason game No 2. as the Pats host the Bears at Gillette Stadium. We have a live All-Access show at 7:30pm, kick-off at 8pm, and then our Patriots 5th Quarter postgame show right after the game!