Rex Burkhead got the Patriots scoring spree started in New Orleans this past Sunday, and has been in the starting lineup for both of the first two games of the regular season.
However, the running back suffered a rib injury against the Saints, didn't finish the game, and hasn't practiced all this week, putting his availability for this weekend's game with the Texans in serious jeopardy.
All but one of Burkhead's teammates practiced Friday for the first time on the new artificial turf on the Gillette Stadium field, which was installed over the past two weeks. Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (left knee) has also not taken part in this week's practice sessions.
Meanwhile, New England has signed a new wide receiver, possibly to the active roster. A player wearing jersey number 84 was on the field Friday, as were all 10 current members of the Patriots practice squad. That means a spot must have been created on the active roster, possibly involving Burkhead or Valentine being moved to injured reserve.
As of midday, the Patriots had yet to announce any transactions. Players will be made available for media interviews following practice later this afternoon.