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New England Patriots could be coming to Richmond

The New England Patriots may spend a portion of their training camp this year in Richmond.

The Patriots are talking with the Washington Redskins about holding a series of joint practices in Richmond before the teams play a preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 7.

At a joint practice, the two teams would scrimmage against each other, sometimes on a position-by-position basis and sometimes as a full squad.

It allows coaches to better assess their team during training camp, as well as keep things fresh for the players by having them face opponents other than their teammates.

New Redskins coach Jay Gruden was a part of joint practices last year in Cincinnati — the Bengals and Atlanta Falcons held them before a preseason game. Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan did not participate in any.

On Sunday, ESPN reported that Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Gruden had spoken about the possibility of holding one or more joint practices in Richmond, then having both teams head to FedEx Field in Landover, Md., for the preseason opener on Aug. 7.

Most likely, the joint practices would be held on Aug. 4-5, though no agreement has been reached.

The Patriots are also holding joint practices with the Eagles the next week, according to the ESPN report.

The NFL limits teams to four preseason games, but does not place restrictions on joint practices. The content of the practices would be subject to NFL limits on training camp workouts, but would otherwise be at the coaches’ discretion.

Having the Patriots in town could boost attendance at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, which averaged 6,000 fans per session last year.

This year’s Richmond portion of training camp will take place on dates between July 23 and Aug. 16, with exact dates and times set later this summer.

mphillips@timesdispatch.com

804-649-6546

@michaelpRTD