Welker returns to practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker returned to practice on Thursday, after missing Wednesday's practice with a neck injury.

Welker appeared to sustain the neck injury on his last catch of Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh, after being taken down on a hard tackle by Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

Remaining out of action on Thursday was linebacker Dane Fletcher, the lone player not practicing. Fletcher has missed the past several weeks of practice, and is listed with a thumb injury.

Players were in full pads, after practicing on Wednesday in light shoulder pads.