Jerod Mayo not present for Patriots practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots and Eagles are holding the third of three joint practices on Thursday morning, and linebacker Jerod Mayo is not present for the third day in a row. It is unclear what is keeping Mayo off the field, as he didn't appear to be injured in the last practice in which he participated, on Monday.

In Mayo's absence the last two days, Dont'a Hightower has appeared to take over more of the play-calling responsibilities, which was similar to what unfolded in 2013 when Mayo sustained a season-ending pectoral muscle injury on Oct. 13 against the Saints. It has also created more opportunity for third-year player Darius Fleming, among others.

The Patriots and Eagles practiced in front of an announced crowd of 25,317 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the teams had a rainy morning workout. Both of those practices were in full pads. The teams are holding more of a slower-paced walk-through practice this morning in advance of Friday night's preseason game.

It also appears that defensive linemen Jerel Worthy and Ben Bass have officially joined the Patriots, as two new players are on the field this morning. The Patriots have yet to officially announce the trades for Worthy and Bass, which were pending physicals.