Bed check: Wrapping up Day 20

August, 14, 2012
8/14/12
11:18
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Wrapping up the 20th day of training camp and the key storylines:

Still no Gronkowski and Hernandez. Tight ends Rob Gronkowski (third straight day) and Aaron Hernandez (second straight day) were held out of practice, leaving Alex Silvestro and Tyler Urban as the team's top two options at the position. Gronkowski was spotted on the field before practice, and in terms of what's holding him back, it doesn't appear to be anything serious. Bill Belichick often says the goal of training camp is to prepare the team for the regular-season opener and the 16-game regular season, and managing players' health is a big part of that.

Fletcher clears waivers and lands on IR. Injured linebacker Dane Fletcher, who was waived on Monday, was not claimed by another team. That meant he reverted back to the club's injured reserve list.

Lloyd also held out. Receiver Brandon Lloyd was held out of practice for the second straight day. Similar to Gronkowski and Hernandez, this doesn't appear to be anything serious.

Defense carries the day. Patriots quarterbacks were intercepted four times (Kyle Arrington, Patrick Chung, Nate Ebner, Steve Gregory), as the defense got the better of the day. It probably helped that Gronkowski, Hernandez and Lloyd weren't on the field.

Mankins in pads for the first time. Offensive lineman Logan Mankins dressed in full pads for the first time, although he didn't participate in one-on-ones or team drills. The team is taking it slow with him.

Situational work continues. A big part of the full-pads practice was focusing on situations (e.g. two-minute offense). Director of player personnel Nick Caserio said the goal was to cover things that could come up at any point over the course of the season.

Mallett and the bucket drill. In the always-important bucket drill, in which quarterbacks attempt to loft a pass about 20-25 yards into a barrel, Ryan Mallett was the first signal-caller to succeed. "Just work on throwing the ball long, dropping it in the right spot. Putting correct air on the ball," Mallett said, before adding that Tom Brady joked it wouldn't count because the barrel fell over.

Quote of the day. "Be aggressive. Be a shark. It's Shark Week, you know." -- linebacker Brandon Spikes on his approach.

Star performer of the day. Safety Patrick Chung. His interception of Brady was one of the highlights of the day.

Tough day at the office. Receiver Donte' Stallworth. Veteran had several drops.

Storyline to monitor. Might the Patriots consider signing rookie return man Jeff Demps?

Rookie watch. Defensive end Chandler Jones knocked over guard Derek Dennis on an inside rush in two-on-two drills. ... Defensive end Jake Bequette showed up with another quick rush in that drill, teaming with Ron Brace. ... Defensive end Justin Francis showed up with a solid rush from the inside. ... Safety Nate Ebner lined up on the first kickoff coverage unit, as did running back Brandon Bolden.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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