Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports that offensive lineman Logan Mankins was removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list on Sunday and participated in individual drills during the team's practice session. Mankins sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in a Week 16 win over the Miami Dolphins and underwent surgery six months ago. Young writes that Mankins missed the final game of the regular season last year but played through his injury through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl. "I could still run, so there was no reason to sit out," says Mankins.
Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com report that linebacker Brandon Spikes also returned to action for Sunday's practice. Spikes sat out the last week of practice and was inactive for Thursday's preseason opener against the Saints. Joining Spikes off the injured list were defensive lineman Ron Brace and offensive lineman Dustin Waldron. Reiss and Rodak add that tight end Rob Gronkowski was not present for Sunday's practice. "Gronkowski, who played in the preseason opener, came on to the field in sweatpants and a T-shirt and spent the session working with other rehabbing players," write Reiss and Rodak.
Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com also reports that the Patriots held a workout for free agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress on Sunday. "A league source told [ESPN's Adam] Schefter that Burress is considered among the Patriots' list of emergency replacement possibilities, but the team does not intend to sign the veteran receiver at this time," writes Rodak. Rodak adds that head coach Bill Belichick did not confirm the team's plans to give Burress a workout but noted that looking at a player like the veteran wide receiver would be "business as usual."
Peter King of SI.com selected defensive end Chandler Jones as his defensive player of the week in his latest installment of "Monday Morning Quarterback." Jones impressed King in his rookie debut on Thursday night against the Saints, playing 13 snaps and drawing two holding penalties from New Orleans left tackle Jermon Bushrod. King writes that on his second play as a pro, Jones pressured Bushrod and forced quarterback Drew Brees to throw an incompletion. King notes that Jones "got good push on the next snap as well" and calls Jones' game a "nice debut."
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes that wide receiver Deion Branch was a full participant in team drills on Sunday for the second straight practice, although both practices were just in shorts and shells. Branch has been limited in practice so far this training camp and did not play in Thursday night's preseason opener against the Saints. In other practice observations, Howe also notes that wide receiver Jabar Gaffney made a pair of nice touchdown catches and cornerback Marquice Cole made a nice interception on a pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer during 11-on-11 drills.