FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots are practicing in full pads on Wednesday afternoon, and the rainy, windy session provided some context on where things stand with several injured players.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was knocked out of Sunday's victory over the New Orleans Saints late in the third quarter with a groin injury, was present for the start of practice. Gronkowski had said Monday that the injury was "nothing serious." His presence on the practice field confirms that.
Wide receiver Danny Amendola was cleared from the concussion protocol to practice for the first time since leaving the opener against the Chiefs in the second half.
Linebacker Dont'a Hightower was back on the practice field for the first time since injuring his right knee in the third quarter of the opener.
Starting right tackle Marcus Cannon, who went wire to wire in Sunday's win despite having been slowed by an ankle injury in the week leading up to the game, was not present.
Running back Rex Burkhead, who injured his ribs Sunday and didn't play on offense after the fourth series, was also not present at practice.
Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who injured his knee in the fourth quarter of Sunday's victory and said Monday he felt OK, but was sore, was present on the practice field.
Cornerback Eric Rowe, who injured his groin in the second half of Sunday's win but indicated it didn't seem too severe, was present on the field.
Wide receiver Chris Hogan, who came up hobbling at one point on Sunday but promised he'd be ready for action, was also present at practice.
Special-teams captain Matthew Slater, who hasn't played the first two games of the season as he works his way back from a hamstring injury from early in training camp, returned to practice after missing most of last week.
Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine, who was No. 3 in the rotation last season and has missed the first two games of the season with a knee injury, was present.
The next thing to monitor will be the level of participation each player has in practice. It's possible that several of the banged-up players who were present at practice were limited in their work.
The team's injury report, to be released later on Wednesday, should provide more details on that.