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Practice report: Scrimmage Saturday

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots mixed things up on Saturday, adopting a scrimmage style atmosphere for their final workout before a player's day off on Sunday.

The team split up into two teams -- blue and white -- spending the majority of practice working through 11-on-11 drills.

Many of the projected offensive starters were in white, while many of the top defensive players wore blue jerseys. There were some exceptions, however, as, for example, rookie receivers Josh Boyce and Aaron Dobson were in blue, while linebacker Jamie Collins was in white.

Tom Brady, who turns 36 today, and Ryan Mallett quarterbacked the white team, while Tim Tebow led the blue team.

Several players were not spotted at practice: tight end Jake Ballard, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, safeties Nate Ebner and Tavon Wilson, offensive linemen Marcus Cannon and Kevin Haslam, wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei and defensive lineman Armond Armstead, who remains on the non-football injury list.

Veteran receiver Michael Jenkins, who appeared to tweak his left hamstring on Friday, wore a tee shirt and shorts as an observer.

The session took place in shells and shorts, breaking a streak of five straight days of full pads practice.

The scrimmage appeared to be a blend of scripted and unscripted situations, with head coach Bill Belichick often calling out the down and distance at his own discretion between snaps. The team worked extensively on special teams during the scrimmage as well.

As perhaps a sign of his progression in a recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, defensive back Devin McCourty shed his red non-contact jersey.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola and tight end Zach Sudfeld were among those players that stood out as positive performers.

The Patriots will return to the practice field on Monday morning before departing for Philadelphia to spend a pair of days practicing with the Eagles in advance of the preseason opener on Friday night.