FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A day off for the New England Patriots as they look to close out their first regular-season week of practice in the next couple of days.

Though no practice, Patriots coaches still met today to discuss what's going to be a big decision for all teams come Saturday, roster cuts.

The Patriots, along with all of the other 31 NFL teams in the league, have been using these past weeks of training camp and regular-season practices to evaluate players, as they will have to cut their 80 man rosters down to 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels told Western Mass News this year is much more challenging amid the coronavirus pandemic, limiting opportunities for players to showcase their skills and coaches to evaluate their talents fully.

"There are very few opportunities in practice where you finish a block with a guy on the ground, you break a tackle and continue to run and do all the things that are going to happen in a real game," he said. "Not having the preseason games where you can evaluate those snaps and those live-action reps, it's something where you don't have them, you miss that opportunity to add to your evaluation."

McDaniels and the other coaches said they're becoming more impressed with quarterback Cam Newton and his ability to adapt to the Patriots offense given these circumstances.

Newton previously mentioned his goal was to become more comfortable with the Patriots offense.

Coming up later on Western Mass News at 6 p.m. on ABC40, we look into how he's attaining that goal and what the coaches have to say about him with the season less than two weeks away.

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


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