(Every day at training camp, we'll recap the day with a final blog post.)
Top storyline: Players were split into two rosters and there was a slower-paced scrimmage that featured game situations. After five straight practices in full pads, players received a break with this session held in shorts and shells (light shoulder pads).
Dowling, Cunningham, Cannon remain out: On the injury front, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham and offensive lineman Marcus Cannon didn't practice. They joined a growing list of injured players, including tight end Jake Ballard, which is commonplace around this time of training camp. It has led to some juggling with the roster.
Roster moves: For the third straight day, the Patriots were busy with transactions, most of which have focused on the back end of the roster. The club waived rookie offensive tackle Elvis Fisher and first-year receiver Lavasier Tuinei on Saturday, and both were designated "waived/injured."
Out of the ordinary at practice: Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork kicking a field goal? It was part of what this practice different from the norm, and Stephen Gostkowski doesn't have to worry about his job security. Also, linebackers coach Pepper Johnson ribbed quarterback Tom Brady, who was celebrating his 36th birthday, by wearing a T-shirt that wished Brady a happy 40th birthday. These were a reflection of how this was a lower-key environment compared to the early days of camp.
Rookie report: Safety Duron Harmon intercepted Tim Tebow in 11-on-11 drills, breaking sharply to the outside. ... Punter Ryan Allen worked as a holder on the field-goal unit. ... Tight end Zach Sudfeld was productive, playing on the team with Tom Brady and catching almost everything thrown in his direction.
Quote of note: "Right now, to be able to practice a couple of positions always helps You never know [when you've] got to play musical chairs back there." -- Devin McCourty, on working at both cornerback and safety.
Summing it up: This practice was heavy on game-like situations, positioning the Patriots for the preseason opener Aug. 9 against the Eagles. The Patriots will have just one more practice as a team, Monday, before they travel to Philadelphia for joint practices and then the preseason opener.