After a full week off, the Patriots returned from their bye week to the first snow flurries of the season in the Foxborough area. The team practiced in shells and helmets for the first time on the single, lower field where the New England Revolution normally train (their season came to an end last week).
New Englnad is as healthy as can be expected this late in the season, with every player but one on the 53-man active roster, all eight practice squad players, and running back Shane Vereen (on IR/designated to return with a left wrist injury) on the field taking part in some capacity. Safety Steve Gregory (right thumb) was the only Patriot not in attendance.
Vereen has been practicing the past couple weeks and is eligible to return to game action this week against Carolina. If he is activated, however, someone else on the 53 must be let go. That decision might not come till the weekend, however, when the team travels to Charlotte, or even as late as game day on Monday.
There was still no sign of the Patriots' two non-football injury list players, first-year d-lineman Armond Armstead or rookie wide receiver Mark Harrison.
New England will take tomorrow off, then return to practice Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before departing for the Carolinas on Sunday.
Looking ahead a bit further, the Patriots-Texans game on December 1 has been changed as part of the NFL's flexible scheduling policy. Kickoff, originally set for 4:25 p.m. EST, will now happen at 1 o'clock.