(Every day at training camp, we'll recap the day with a final blog post.)
Top storyline: Receiver Julian Edelman came off the physically unable to perform list and returned to practice. Elsewhere on the injury front, third-year guard/tackle Marcus Cannon was held out for the second straight day, while cornerback Ras-I Dowling and defensive end Jermaine Cunningham didn't finish practice.
Dobson returns to practice: On Tuesday, our "big takeaway" was rookie receiver Aaron Dobson's missing practice after a strong start to training camp. It was noted that his presence would be the first thing to look for Thursday. Dobson was back and taking top reps.
Roster moves: The club churned the back end of its roster after creating three spots Wednesday by letting go of receivers Lavelle Hawkins and Perez Ashford and center/guard Nick McDonald. The team also created a fourth opening by releasing rookie cornerback Stephon Morris on Thursday. To fill those spots, the Patriots brought in four rookies -- receivers Johnathan Haggerty (SW Oklahoma State) and Lavasier Tuinei (Oregon) and defensive linemen Travis Chappelear (NW Missouri State) and Scott Vallone (Rutgers). All are long shots to make the final roster. "We know they're coming in late; they don't have a great background in our system," coach Bill Belichick said. "We'll evaluate them on that basis and just take it from there."
Setting things up for trip to Philadelphia: Belichick mapped out the team's plans, noting that there would be three days of work before a break, meaning Sunday will likely be a day off. The team plans to travel to Philadelphia on Monday, and will have joint practices with the Eagles on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, before the preseason opener on Friday.
Rookie report: Receiver Kenbrell Thompkins had the play of the day, hauling in a long pass from Tom Brady over the middle as he split three defenders. ... Safety Duron Harmon lined up on the kickoff coverage team and also showed up on defense playing alongside Steve Gregory. ... Linebacker Jamie Collins forced a fumble in ball-security drills. ... Linebacker Steve Beauharnais had an interception of Tom Brady in the end zone in red zone drills.
Quote of note: "Right now I'm ultimately focused on just trying to get out here and catch up with the train." -- Julian Edelman, on coming off the PUP list to practice for the first time.
Summing it up: Edelman's return provided the first look at what the Patriots' receiving corps projects to look like if everyone stays healthy. This marked the team's fourth straight full-pads practice, with Belichick saying this is the time when players start to feel the stress of camp. "It's what the team needs to develop mental toughness and staying power and to get into a regular season football kind of mode."