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Patriots Monday morning practice notes

The Patriots took the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium on Labor Day morning to continue to work toward Sunday afternoon's preseason opener in Buffalo against the Bills.

A day after a workout in full pads, Bill Belichick's team was back in helmets, shells and pants.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski was back on the practice field for the second straight day with his teammates. During the media portion of practice, after stretching and warming up, Gronkowski was with his first-offense teammates jogging through plays.

Though that work is a clear positive step for the Pro Bowler as he returns from offseason arm and back surgeries, it's still a far cry from full-contact, game-day NFL action. Gronkowski reportedly left the practice field shortly after the media did on Sunday, so the degree of his participation in these early season practices is very much uncertain at this point.

Attendance-wise only one player from the current version of the 53-man roster was absent, that being veteran backup offensive lineman Will Svitek. Svitek had been seen in the locker room late Sunday in a knee brace after missing yesterday's workout.

New England also continued to tinker with its roster on Monday, waiving undrafted rookie offensive lineman Josh Kline and re-signing veteran defensive back Marquice Cole. Cole was in uniform and participating in practice.

Also participating in practice was an offensive lineman wearing a No. 71 jersey. The Patriots do not have such a player listed on the roster or the practice squad at this point with that number.

Finally, newly claimed defensive lineman A.J. Francis changed his number already, going from No. 90 to No. 69.

Bill Belichick will hold a press conference at Gillette Stadium's new media workroom at 12:15, while players will be available to the media during an open locker room segment from 12:45-1:30. News from those two events will be available later today on Patriots.com

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