Patriots practice 18 observations


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Observations from Monday afternoon's practice, the Patriots' 18th of training camp, which was held in full pads and in the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse due to rainy conditions outdoors:

Cunningham out; Roth returns. Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham was not spotted at practice, after having not participated in full-team stretching to end Sunday's session. His injury status is unclear. Meanwhile, offensive lineman Zack Roth returned to action after being carted off the field on Saturday and missing Sunday's practice.

Otherwise, the following players were not spotted on the practice fields on Monday: running backs Kevin Faulk (active/PUP) and Eric Kettani; wide receiver Taylor Price; offensive linemen Marcus Cannon (active/NFI) and Ryan Wendell; defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth; linebackers Brandon Spikes, Jeff Tarpinian, and Christian Cox; and cornerback Malcolm Williams.

Players working on the sidelines out of uniform were running back Shane Vereen; wide receivers Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman; defensive linemen Brandon Deaderick, Shaun Ellis, Ron Brace (all active/PUP), and Mike Wright; linebacker/safety Josh Barrett; cornerback Ras-I Dowling; and safety James Sanders.

Ridley, Arrington banged up. Rookie running back Stevan Ridley was seen having his right leg stretched by trainers during positional drills early in practice. He did not return to action. Meanwhile, cornerback Kyle Arrington limped off the field during 11-on-11 work and had his right ankle taped by trainers. He returned to action later in practice. Also, wide receiver Darnell Jenkins did not participate in the later portion of practice, sitting on the sideline. His status was unclear.

Shakeup at safety. The top unit at safety was shaken up some on Monday, with second-year safety Sergio Brown seeing time with both Patrick Chung and Brandon Meriweather. The Patriots were set on Sunday to work out veteran safeties Renaldo Hill and Darren Sharper, so this could be further evidence that the team is not happy with what they are seeing at the position.

Belichick wets ball, even inside. With rainy conditions forcing the team inside the practice bubble, head coach Bill Belichick still made sure to give players a taste of the elements. More than once he took a water bottle and squirted the football before it was snapped, and even squirted some water on center Dan Koppen's hand as well. This came after center Rich Ohrnberger had a low snap during 11-on-11 work, which quarterback Ryan Mallett snagged off the turf.

Offense in focus. The offensive unit had some struggles on Monday, with quarterback Brian Hoyer throwing an interception to linebacker Gary Guyton and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco dropping a deep pass, both during 11-on-11 work. However, tight end Aaron Hernandez had an impressive touchdown snag in traffic, as did wide receiver Deion Branch along the back of the end zone.