ALLEN PARK, Mich. — On Wednesday, the Patriots prepped for their preseason opener by holding a short walkthrough with the Detroit Lions. There wasn’t much action in this 45-minute practice, but it gave us a glimpse at who might and who might not play on Thursday night in Detroit.
Tom Brady was notably absent during this walkthrough. The quarterback was stationed on the sideline and got some brief work in with resistance bands during the session. Brian Hoyer started at quarterback with Jarrett Stidham coming in later. This will probably be the case on Thursday, as it seems more than likely Brady sits out the preseason opener — as he’s done several times in the past.
On offense, it looked like most of the projected starting offensive line will get the day off. The first unit on Wednesday was Dan Skipper, Hjalte Froholdt, Ted Karras, James Ferentz and Tyree St. Louis. Brandon Bolden was starting at running back with Jakob Johnson at fullback and Matt LaCosse at tight ends.
It does look like we’ll see plenty of receivers on Thursday. Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers and Braxton Berrios participated on Wednesday. Maurice Harris and Dontrelle Inman didn’t play in the scrimmage.
Don’t expect to see rookie receiver N’Keal Harry, either. After suffering an apparent leg injury on Tuesday, Harry was at practice, but didn’t take the field. It appears that the Patriots are being cautious with their first-round pick.
On defense, don’t expect to see Devin McCourty, Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Dont’a Hightower, Michael Bennett, Kyle Van Noy or Patrick Chung. Neither of those projected started participated on Wednesday. Notable defensive players in the scrimmage were Jamie Collins, John Simon, Deatrich Wise, Elandon Roberts, J.C. Jackson, Duron Harmon and Adam Butler.
On special teams, Gunner Olszewski took the first kickoff while Berrios was the first punt returner. Jake Bailey was also handling kickoffs.
Lance Kendricks and Rex Bukrhead were absent on Wednesday. The Patriots PUP list remains Demaryius Thomas, Nate Ebner, Ken Webster and Cameron Meredith. Julian Edelman and Yodny Cajuste remain on the NFI list. Edelman, who suffered a broken thumb, was sporting a black wrap on his left thumb on Thursday.
Next up, the Patriots take on the Lions in Thursday’s preseason opener.