Gronk participates in full-pads practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was once again on the practice field as the team continues its preparation for the season opener in Buffalo.

The team worked in full pads for the second time this week, with Gronkowski joining his fellow tight ends for a light blocking drill during the individual drill portion of the practice.

While Gronkowski still may not be available for this Sunday's game, his presence on the practice field is a positive sign in his continued rehabilitation from offseason back and forearm surgeries.

The Patriots had nearly perfect attendance at practice, with veteran offensive lineman Will Svitek as the lone absence. He's missed practice each day this week and was spotted wearing a knee brace in the locker room recently.

Veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan, signed on Tuesday, made his practice debut and wore what appeared to be extra padding on both the upper and lower half of his right arm.

Running back Brandon Bolden was again wearing a knee brace, and during foot work drills on the bags he did not participate in the lateral movements. That's perhaps a sign that his knee is not comfortable enough to plant on.

The team will hit the practice field again on Thursday before a final tuneup on Friday.