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10 players missing from practice at Gillette

FOXBOROUGH -- Everything but the temperature made it feel like a training camp practice Wednesday for the Patriots, with a whopping 10 players absent from the upper fields at Gillette Stadium.

Wide receivers Randy Moss, Julian Edelman, and Brandon Tate; running backs Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris; safety Brandon Meriweather; linebacker Eric Alexander; center Dan Koppen; tackle Matt Light; and defensive lineman Jarvis Green were all missing from the media portion of practice, which included stretching and position drills. The players wore full pads and lots of layers, given a sharp wind that chilled temperatures mightily from previous days.

Moss was spotted in the locker room before practice, so it's likely he's simply receiving a maintenance day. Edelman (forearm), Taylor (ankle), Morris (knee), and Light (knee) have been absent in recent weeks, while Tate (leg) and Koppen (knee) left Sunday's win over the Dolphins due to injuries. Wednesday's first participation report of the week should shed more light on the injury situation.

Cornerback Jonathan Wilhite returned to practice after being sidelined last week due to illness.

Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, linebackers Bruce Davis and Tully Banta-Cain, cornerback Terrence Wheatley, and quarterback Isaiah Stanback wore black jerseys to indicate they were the practice standouts of the week.

Alexander, though absent, had coach Pepper Johnson's championship belt hung above his locker, indicating he was the practice player of the week.