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Amendola returns to practice, Gronk rehabs; Aug. 26 notes

The Patriots had the past three days off following their blowout loss to the Detroit Lions last Thursday, but got back to business Monday on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.

Media were allowed to watch the first 25 minutes of today's session, and here's what stood out:

…Veteran wideout Danny Amendola was back in full pads after missing all of last week's practice, as well as the Lions game, for reasons unknown. Veteran defensive end Jermaine Cunningham also got back in full pads after missing nearly all of training camp.

…When the team finished stretching and broke up into position groups for individual drills, Cunningham and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (injured at Philadelphia three weeks ago) retreated to the lower field to work on rehab exercises with the strength and conditioning coaches.

…Also among the rehabbing group were tight end Rob Gronkowski (back, left forearm), who was sporting his trademark white receivers gloves, the big puffy kind that look like soccer goaltenders' mitts. Gronk carried a football in his right arm while running through footwork drills.

…Joining Gronk, Dennard, and Cunningham on the rehab field were rookie WR Mark Harrison and first-year defensive lineman Armond Armstead, both of whom are officially on the reserve/non-football injury list, the team announced today. Harrison was taking part in some exercises, while Armstead watched from the side in sweat pants and a long-sleeved tee.

…New England made several other moves before practice, in advance of Tuesday's deadline to cut the 90-man roster down to 75. The Patriots released veteran LB Niko Koutouvides, first-year WR Kamar Aiken, rookie CB Brandon Jones, second-year CB LeQuan Lewis, and rookie LS Mike Zupancic. They also placed second-year T Markus Zusevics and rookie DL Cory Grissom on injured reserve, and re-signed a pair of rookies – CB Stephon Morris and DL Scott Vallone.

…The active roster currently stands at 77. Two more transactions must be made by 4 p.m. tomorrow to comply with the league-mandated cutdown.

…Players are to be made available for media interviews after practice, around 5 p.m. this afternoon.

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