Waters' nameplate removed from locker

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The nameplate above the locker for veteran offensive lineman Brian Waters has been removed, creating further doubt about his potential return to the team.

Waters, who started all 19 games last season, hasn't reported to the Patriots in 2012. He is under contract for $1.4 million this season.

The team issued his jersey No. 54 to rookie linebacker Dont'a Hightower earlier this week.