With fresh new faces spread all over the team, here are the five New England Patriots players who have made the biggest positive impact at training camp.
There are two ways to look at the slew of injuries that have befallen the New England Patriots this summer.
If you’re a glass-half-empty kind of person, the reigning champs are in real trouble. After bidding farewell to perhaps their greatest offensive weapon in history last March, the Pats then lost top wideout Julian Edelman to a finger injury. Workhorse running back Sony Michel began training camp on the PUP list (he has since returned to action), rookie rusher Damien Harris is reportedly battling a hand injury, and presumptive left tackle Isaiah Wynn is still working his way back from a torn Achilles.
On top of all those hurdles, New England has since seen Phillip Dorsett, Maurice Harris, N’Keal Harry, Matt LaCosse, and Stephen Anderson all go down with ailments of varying severity. They’re also still biding their time for Demaryius Thomas and/or Cameron Meredith to return to action as well.
If you’re a glass-half-full person, the first thing you’ll notice is that the one commonality all the aforementioned players share is that they all play offense. While Josh McDaniels’ unit is fast becoming some kind of football infirmary ward, Bill Belichick’s (Jerod Mayo’s???) defense is about as healthy from top-to-bottom as one could hope.
An optimist would also perhaps note the silver lining in all those offensive injuries: it opens the door up for younger, less experienced players on the roster bubble to make their mark. Patriots coaches are being afforded a rare opportunity – whether they wanted it or not – to really spend an enormous amount of time seeing players they might not otherwise have had the chance to evaluate to such a degree.
To that end, who have been the standouts thus far in training camp?