Practice report: Connolly absent again

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly was the only player not spotted at the start of Thursday's practice session at Gillette Stadium.

After not participating in Wednesday's session, Connolly was not present at the portion viewed by media Thursday, which featured stretching on the game field.

If Connolly is unable play, he leaves a void as a backup interior lineman, a short-yardage fullback, and as part of the kickoff return. One option the Patriots might explore for his fullback duties is using second-year lineman Ryan Wendell, who was signed to the active roster on Dec. 31.

(Update: The afternoon participation report confirms Connolly did not participate in the session. All other players participated fully in the session).