New England Patriots star safety Devin McCourty underwent offseason shoulder surgery, and the procedure was deemed as minor. However, the Patriots decided to give McCourty some rest in OTAs and minicamp, as McCourty was not a full participant during workouts in either May or June. According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, the only thing McCourty would do with the team was stretch before rehabbing on his own and then watching team drills. A source told Howe, though, that McCourty is expected “to be on the field” for the first day of training camp, and it’s great to hear that his shoulder has presumably fully healed.
New England Patriots middle linebacker Brandon Spikes (55) at the line of scrimmage during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. The Patriots won 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Although this was fully expected, a Howe also reports that Brandon Spikes will report to the Patriots for the start of training camp, per a source. Spikes participated in minicamp, but he opted to work out on his own in Florida instead of participating in voluntary workouts at OTAs. A bit of a lone wolf, Spikes preferred to work on his athleticism heading into his contract year, because he wants to be a better linebacker in coverage. There is little doubt that Spikes is one of the best linebackers in the NFL in run defense, but he has a long ways to go in coverage. Spikes needs to prove to the league that he can be a three-down linebacker, because that will be the difference between paychecks in March.
It’s great to hear confirmation that Spikes is going to participate in training camp from the first day on, but there was never any indication that he would miss mandatory team activities such as both camps. Spikes isn’t holding out, and that whole sitting out of OTAs was a non-issue to me. Howe adds in the piece that Spikes believes the program in Florida helped him achieve his big year last season, and I say that if it works, why change things? I believe that Spikes always had that ability, though, and that he broke out last year because he was able to stay healthy. If that’s because of the program in Florida, then that reflects well.