Fletcher remains out of Friday practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher remained out of practice on Friday, marking his third straight week not practicing. Fletcher did not travel to Sunday's game in Pittsburgh, listed as having a thumb injury.

Fletcher suffered the thumb injury in the preseason against the Buccaneers, and missed the final two exhibition games. He returned to play in the first six games of the regular season, but played only one defensive snap against the Cowboys in Week 6.

Asked about Fletcher's status at his Friday news conference, head coach Bill Belichick said that Fletcher was "doing some rehab" but that the team would have placed Fletcher on injured reserve if they thought it was a season-ending situation.

On Thursday night, Fletcher tweeted for the first time in nearly two weeks, writing "Love my fans, thank you all for bearing with me... As you know, I'm doing everything imaginable to be back on the field as soon as possible!"

Also not practicing on Friday was offensive lineman Donald Thomas, who told reporters on Thursday that he was expecting the birth of his first child on Friday morning.

Cornerback Malcolm Williams, who was released from the practice squad last week but whose locker remained intact this week, was back on the field on Friday. Practice squad cornerback Josh Victorian was not spotted on the field. No transaction has been announced by the team.

Players were in light shoulder pads on Friday after practicing in full pads on Thursday.