The Patriots were back on the practice field Wednesday morning, in full pads, and Danny Amendola was among them yet again. However, during the brief portion during which the media are allowed to watch, the hobbled wide receiver (right groin) continues to look less than comfortable running routes and through individual drills.
Amendola appeared to sustain the injury during the preseason, when he missed the third exhibition contest against Detroit, and exacerbated it during the season opener at Buffalo. He missed the Jets game in Foxborough last Thursday night and his status for this Sunday's home affair with Tampa remains in doubt.
New England's other star offensive player who's been on the shelf also looks like he's making strides. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/left forearm) has yet to suit up in a game this season, but has been practicing on a consistent basis.
Meanwhile, two defenders who weren't on the field Monday, when the team last worked out together, were back at it this morning. Cornerback Aqib Talib didn't appear to have any obvious physical ailment as he ran through his paces at the start of today's session. Fellow corner Alfonzo Dennard's absence the other day was due to a court appearance in Nebraska.
Just two Patriots were not on the field Wednesday morning: wide receiver Matthew Slater and cornerback Marquice Cole. It's unclear why the latter was not there, but Slater, as has been reported in the media the past couple of days, suffered a broken bone in one of his hands against the Jets. Later today, the team will release its official injury/practice participation report and some of these mysterious could become at least a bit clearer.
Players, including QB Tom Brady, will take media questions following practice, around midday.
UPDATE… 3:48 p.m.
Amendola did not make any public comments today, but Gronk did. Speaking with reporters at his locker after practice, the tight end declared that he has "progressed significantly since last week" and continues to make "big-time" strides as he moves closer to returning to game action. He would not, however, make any definitive statements about his status for Sunday's Buccaneers game in Foxborough.
Talib also spoke to reporters and cleared up the reason behind his Monday absence. He said he had a family emergency that required his immediate attention, but that everything is okay with him now. He also stressed that he escaped the Jets game without injury.
Rookie receiver Aaron Dobson admitted that he struggled with a combination of mental and physical errors in his first regular season game last week (he was inactive in the opener at Buffalo), despite catching a touchdown on the first pass thrown his way as a pro. He added that he's been trying to correct those errors this week my doing more during and after practice with Brady. "Just getting more work with him, after practice running routes. You can't ride the highs too much or the lows too much. What happened last week happened and I'm just trying to move on and improve and have a better game this week."
Dobson, who'd been dealing with a hamstring problem, was removed from today's injury report. Cole, meantime, was absent for non-injury reasons, according to that same report.