FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — While the Chargers practiced in typical warm and sunny Los Angeles weather on Thursday, the Patriots got a more accurate taste of what the conditions will be like for Sunday’s AFC divisional matchup.
Snow flurries made for a tough practice in Foxboro Thursday afternoon and even though no snow is expected this weekend, the frigid temperatures will be sticking around.
Chargers QB Philip Rivers is 1-3 in his career in games played in sub-30-degree conditions while Tom Brady, on the other hand, is 23-4. Rivers is also 0-7 in his career when going up against Brady and the Patriots.
The tone in the locker room on Thursday is that the Patriots are comfortable with playing in the elements.
“It was cool at first with that snow coming down,” tight end Rob Gronkowski said. “We’ve seen it many times before – it’s always cold out here in December, January. So, you’ve got to practice in whatever it is.”
“It feels like it’s January. Bill [Belichick] is always famous for that. Whatever it is, it is. Get your [stuff] on and get out there,” safety Devin McCourty added. “It’s kind of the first one that we’ve had that was starting with snow. The snow kind of dwindled away, cold, but that’s what it is this time of year. As much as that sucks playing in it, it’s a joy to know that you’re still playing.”
Players on Thursday said the bye week was a great opportunity for them to heal some bumps and bruises ahead of their first postseason game. In fact, McCourty, WR Cordarrelle Patterson and TE Dwayne Allen have all been removed from the team’s injury report.
The only player who was limited in Thursday’s practice was defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr.
Gronkowski said he’s feeling healthy and rested going into Sunday’s game. When asked about his future, he said he’s keeping his mindset in the short term.
“It’s the biggest game of the year, Sunday at 1 o’clock,” Gronkowski said. “Just the last few days putting the preparation in, all focus on the Chargers, all focus on whatever I can do to help out the team. Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I’m trying to do it to the best of my ability during practice and then bringing it out to the game on Sunday.”
The Patriots will hold one final practice on Friday before an off-day on Saturday.
Kickoff for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.