By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots practiced without pads on Tuesday, as they prepare for a couple of practice dates with the New York Giants on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tuesday marked the second practice missed by Cam Newton, as the presumed No. 1 quarterback continues his mandated five-day absence from the team after traveling and not complying with the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols for players who aren’t fully vaccinated.

Bill Belichick stated simply prior to the practice that this week does indeed represent an opportunity for rookie quarterback Mac Jones. He was, then, naturally the focus for many observers of practice on Tuesday.

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe had Jones at 31-for-40 with two interceptions in competitive reps, and 25-for-32 (with both INTs) against the starting defense.

NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry had Jones at 30-for-36 passing in 11-on-11’s.

The Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels noted that Jones had some highlights, including a 6-for-7 performance in a two-minute drill, and a 4-for-4 performance on the next drive. Jones has looked comfortable running the hurry-up offense in his two preseason games thus far.

NESN’s Zack Cox said that Jones was “much better than he was yesterday,” when he had a slow start before finding a rhythm.

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran noted that Jones’ ability to take all of the starter’s reps at QB have allowed him to work through different stretches and get comfortable.

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Matt Dolloff noted that the offense had to do push-ups after one interception. But the offense repaid the favor later, forcing the defense to do push-ups.

For Jones, it’s certainly been a big couple of days. He’ll get one more opportunity to take all of the starter’s reps on Thursday, and he’ll be doing it in front of fans. The Patriots are opening the gates to fans at 9 a.m., with the practice with the Giants beginning at 10 a.m.

CBSBoston.com Staff