FOXBORO (CBS) — The Patriots appear to be a healthy bunch heading into the 2021 season. New England had perfect attendance at its first practice of Week 1 on Monday, as the team prepares to host the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.
After receiving the weekend off, Patriots players hit the practice field in Foxboro on Labor Day. No one received the day off, and only running back/special teamer Brandon Bolden and practice squad corner D’Angelo Ross were seen sporting red non-contract jerseys at the session.READ MORE: Patriots-Jets Week 2 Predictions: Which Team Will Pick Up Its First Win Of Season?
The Patriots don’t have to release a practice report until midweek, but it appears they’ll be at full strength when they welcome the Dolphins to town on Sunday. That means Mac Jones will have tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry — both of whom battled injuries during training camp and the preseason — at his disposal when the rookie quarterback makes his NFL debut on Sunday.
Henry wouldn’t say for sure if he was playing on Sunday — but he sounded like someone gearing up for his first game with a new team.
“There’s a new energy. I’m excited to be playing at home in front of our fans,” Henry said after Monday’s practice. “It’s going to be a blast to welcome fans back. It’s going to be a fun Sunday and we’re all looking forward to it.”READ MORE: Trent Brown Questionable; Kyle Van Noy, Quinn Nordin Ruled Out For Patriots' Week 2 Tilt Vs. Jets
Henry and Smith were two of the big offseason additions on offense, along with receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. There are some high hopes for the Patriots offense heading into 2021, but Smith said Monday that he isn’t in the business of making predictions.
“We just come in here with a hardhat on and put the work in. We’re working and we expects the results to pay off,” said Smith. “We’re not in the business of making predictions; we’re in the business of making habits. I’ll leave it at that.”
That being said, Smith cannot wait for things to kick off on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s like the first day of school,” he said of Week 1. “Lay your clothes out on the bed. I’m in the hotel room looking at the wall. We have to stop talking about this now because I’m getting those Week 1 feelings and I have to wait a couple more days.”MORE NEWS: Want To Know Everything About The Long Snapper Position? Let Bill Belichick Regale You With Some History
Tune in to Patriots-Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 12 on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Wednesday night with Patriots 1st Down at 10:30 p.m. on TV38 and continues Friday night with Patriots All Access at 7 p.m. on WBZ! Our opening day coverage begins with Patriots GameDay at 11:30 a.m., the Patriots and the Dolphins kick off at 4:25 p.m., and after the game switch over to TV38 for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!