Patriots Camp

Patriots camp observations: Elliott gets work in the pass game

Our Phil Perry shared his takeaways from Tuesday's Pats practice in Foxboro.

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The New England Patriots returned to the practice field in Foxboro on Tuesday after opting to skip their scheduled trip to Nashville.

It was a lighter, unpadded session for the Pats as they eased back into action after a physical preseason tilt with the Green Bay Packers. Although it wasn't the most entertaining practice, there were still plenty of noteworthy moments.

Our Phil Perry was in attendance for Tuesday's practice and shared some of his observations.You can read them below and follow him on X for more.

Attendance update

Tight end Mike Gesicki and running back Pierre Strong returned to practice in non-contact jerseys. Gesicki sustained a shoulder injury during practice last week, and Strong didn't travel to Green Bay because he was in the concussion protocol.

Rookie wide receiver Demario "Pop" Douglas worked on the upper field with others rehabbing. Defensive back Jalen Mills finished practice limping with an apparent right foot/leg issue.

Rookie edge rusher Keion White, who didn't play against Green Bay due to a leg injury suffered in practice, left for the upper field mid-session. Defensive end Trey Flowers and cornerback Jonathan Jones also worked out on the upper field.

Running back Ty Montgomery returned and joined the aforementioned group in the upper field mid-practice.

Wideout Tyquan Thornton remained a non-participant along with offensive linemen Cole Strange, Mike Onwenu, and Calvin Anderson.

Rough day for Ryland

The Patriots selected kicker Chad Ryland in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Tuesday's practice was a tough one for the rookie out of Maryland.

Perry watched as Ryland pulled three consecutive field goal attempts during the session.

Zeke gets receiving work

The Patriots utilized veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and out wide on Tuesday. He caught passes from both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, but his day ended on a sour note.

Elliott was banged up after catching his one target from Jones. He stayed in for one play before motioning to coaches that he wanted out. Perry notes that Elliott returned the next period and looked OK, but his availability will be worth monitoring on Wednesday.

Elliott has plenty of experience as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, but he was hardly utilized that way last season with the Dallas Cowboys. The 28-year-old caught only 17 passes for 92 yards in 15 games.

QB comparison

Mac Jones went 15-for-20 with two sacks (team, Matt Judon) and one interception (Myles Bryant).

Bailey Zappe went 10-for-16 with one sack (Daniel Ekuale).

Boutte and Bailey

Rookie wideout Kayshon Boutte caught a touchdown pass from Zappe during Saturday's preseason game in Green Bay. He did so again in Tuesday's practice. Before that, Zappe found Malik Cunningham for a TD.

Boutte also returned kicks during the session.

Marcus Jones makes noise

It has been a quiet summer for second-year cornerback/returner Marcus Jones, but he made his presence felt on Tuesday. As Perry notes, Jones tallied a pass breakup on a deep Zappe throw and nearly had a PBU on Kendrick Bourne.

Plays of the day

A pair of plays stuck out to Perry during Tuesday's practice:

  • Bryant's interception of Jones' pass was a one-handed grab that resulted in a TD for the defense.
  • Before the pick, Jones beat a Kyle Dugger blitz and a Josh Uche pressure, resulting in a "decisive strike" to wideout DeVante Parker.

The Patriots will return to the practice field on Wednesday. Their preseason finale vs. the Tennessee Titans is set for Friday at 8:15 p.m. ET.

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