FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The New England Patriots held their first official regular-season practice today, with the team's season opener less than two weeks away.

The Patriots took the field here at Gillette Stadium this morning, but one player who did not show was quarterback Cam Newton.

ESPN NFL Insider Mike Reiss said Newton had an excused absence from practice this morning, and he wasn't the only player to not show...

Western Mass News told running back Damien Harris and cornerback Michael Jackson, along with New Patriots Veterans' Outreach Center's David Andrews, and a few others did not attend practice. As for the rest of the team, they took the field this morning in full pads.

Head coach Bill Belichick spoke with Western Mass News, before Monday's practice they're main priority this week is to sharpen up before their first game against Miami on September 13.

"So today's Monday, I think by the end of the week, we'll be into Miami. So a little bit each day, and that transition will take place over the next several days," he said. "It won't be jumping from training camp to in-season, but there will be, I'd say, a gradual progression of both practice structure and what we do in practice, how those drills or periods get eventually changed from training camp emphasis to specific emphasis for an opponent."

Another big decision for not only the Patriots but all teams across the league is having to cut their 80 man roster down to 53 players by the weekend.

All teams have until Saturday by 4 p.m. to make their cuts.

Coming up later at 6 p.m. on Western Mass News, learn how the Patriots are handling this situation and why Belichick said it's a little bit trickier amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.


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