FOXBOROUGH, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The New England Patriots are taking the field on Thursday, having back-to-back practices, which is something they haven't been able to do in the past couple of weeks due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Both players and coaches are emphasizing how great it feels to be back in action, feeling some sense of normalcy in their practice schedule, having back-to-back practices for the first time in two weeks.
Despite their two consecutive losses, the Pats are looking ahead to Sunday as they get ready to welcome the San Francisco 49ers to Foxborough.
Regardless of the Patriots' 2-3 record, head coach of the 49ers Kyle Shanahan knows not to take this team lightly. Last year, Shanahan said he watched Patriots film during the season every single week, even when preparing for other teams.
When asked how often the players watch the Pats, 49ers offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey told Western Mass News they scout the Pats just like every other team on their schedule.
"Not that I can remember a lot. We kind of stick to who we have a week in and week out. I'm sure that he watches them as a head coach, as a play-caller, and a play designer to see what's, kind of, going on and how teams can exploit how other teams play," McGlinchey said. "The Patriots have been the best in the business at doing that for the last 20 years, and so I don't think that it's necessarily shocking that people watch the Patriots and what they've been able to accomplish."
Meanwhile, the Patriots, having no new members added to the COVID-19/reserve list so far this week. The team is hungry for this win on Sunday, trying to break the 49ers momentum, as they're sitting at 3-3 on the season after their last week's win over the Los Angeles Rams.
The 49ers plan on flying into Foxborough by Saturday.
Practicing back-to-back days for the first time in over two weeks, starting quarterback Cam Newton told Western Mass News, it really plays a crucial role in Sunday's performance.
"It's almost, you know, surreal, but the fact that we're able to practice, I think, everybody's getting back in their normal routines. I think that's big for us," he said. "I know, me personally, being in my position, it's one thing to go over your needs, it's another thing to be able to go over your needs, and you know, get a good look at it."
With the coronavirus pandemic impacting teams immensely across the league, including the Patriots themselves, running back Damien Harris said he doesn't take being out there on the field for granted.
"This week, we had the opportunity to go out and practice. We have the opportunity to go out there and get on the field, and work on getting better and work on improving, so we're trying to take advantage of that," he explained.
Despite their 2-3 record, Newton, who has only had a few days back on the field after being coronavirus free, said it's on him to lead this team back in a winning direction.
"I know what I'm capable of, and my standard is extremely high, and I haven't been meeting it, my standards," Newton noted.
For those wondering how Newton feels after being removed from the COVID-19/reserve list and looking ahead, his answer...
"Sensational," he said.