New England Patriots Training Camp Day 3: Two Key Veterans Return To Practice

New England Patriots Training Camp Day 3: Two Key Veterans Return To Practice

FOXBORO — A pair of New England Patriots are set to make their 2022 training camp practice debut.

Center David Andrews and punter Jake Bailey arrived in uniform at the practice fields adjacent to Gillette Stadium on Foxboro, Massachusetts on Friday morning, indicating that each player has been cleared to return to action.

Andrews had been placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list prior to the start of camp. The 30-year-old team captain spoke with reporters on Tuesday, confirming that he was “making progress” in his recuperation, Andrews added that he is “taking things day-by-day,” yet declined to provide a timeline for his removal from the PUP list, at that time. 

Starting in week 13 of the 2021 season, Andrews was a regular on the Patriots practice report, listed with a shoulder injury. While his injury wasn’t quite as serious as the pulmonary blood clots which sidelined him for the 2019 season, Andrews’ injury required swift surgery to repair a torn labrum.

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Despite the ailment, he started every game and played a team-high 98.6 percent of offensive snaps. Andrews played 100 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in 16 of their 18 games, including a playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills on Wild Card weekend. Andrews continued to show his prowess as one of the league’s best interior offensive linemen, allowing just one sack in 610 pass-blocking snaps. He finished 2021 as Pro Football Focus’s fifth-highest-graded center.

Bailey had missed New England’s first two practices with a non-football illness designation. 

Since arriving in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, he has been one of the top punters in the NFL. Over his three seasons in New England, the Stanford product has booted 185 punts, amassing 8,632 yards, averaging 46.7 yards per punt. In 2020, Bailey was named a First Team All-Pro, while also earning a Pro Bowl selection. He is also quite adept as the Pats kickoff specialist, averaging a 53.7 touchback percentage from 227 career kickoffs. Still, Bailey will be looking to improve upon his 2021 performance — a season in which he struggled with accuracy and had three punts blocked.

Though a camp competition is highly unlikely to emerge, Bailey does have some competition on the roster in undrafted rookie punter Jake Julien, who spent five seasons punting for the Eastern Michigan University Eagles. He averaged 43.4 yard per punt across his career. 

The Canadian-born right footer is expected to compete for a spot on the Pats practice squad, with Bailey largely expected to remain in the starting role.

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