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Patriots relatively healthy as Bills Week moves ahead

All the news from Thursday's Patriots practice in preparation for the opener at Buffalo.

Were it not for Will Svitek (right knee), the Patriots would have perfect attendance at practice this first week of the regular season. The o-lineman remains the only player unable to suit up for practice, though several others are taking part on a limited basis due to various injuries.

More on that in a moment, but first, your daily Gronk update. Rob Gronkowski did the most we've seen with his teammates since he returned to practice on a regular basis. Today, in addition to his individual and position drill work, the tight end took part in a shell offense running plays against no defense. He and the other skill position players lined up in formation, with Gronk going in motion several times, and ran their routes at half-to-three-quarter-speed, while the quarterbacks threw to them. Gronkowski was working with the first unit that included QB Tom Brady.

Other items of note:

…In addition to Svitek, a half-dozen Patriots were listed on the first injury report of the season, released late Wednesday afternoon. All six were officially listed as "limited" in their practice participation: Gronk (back/left forearm); WRs Danny Amendola (groin) and rookie Aaron Dobson (hamstring); RB Brandon Bolden (knee); safeties Nate Ebner (ankle) and rookie Duron Harmon (hamstring).

…Though the list doesn't specify, Dobson's ailing hamstring looks to be his left one. At practice Thursday, he was sporting what looked like an enormous band-aid that covered the back of his left upper leg, knee, and upper calf.

…Both Dobson and Amendola ran routes in drills and with the offensive skill position players, with the latter showing no apparent signs of a limp. The rookie, though, appeared to favor his left side ever so slightly when he walked back to the huddle.

…It's important to note, however, that when a player is severely injured, he is almost always prevented from speaking to the media. Both Amendola and Dobson granted interviews to large media crowds following Wednesday's practice, which is a likely sign that neither is dealing with anything too serious.

…The Patriots practiced in "uppers," which includes shells (the lighter, smaller shoulder pads) and helmets only, no lower-body padding. You'll recall, with the advent of the latest collective bargaining agreement that went into effect in 2011, NFL teams can only hold 14 practices in full pads during the regular season, 11 of which must take place during the first 11 weeks.

…Players are to be made available for media interviews again Thursday after practice, somewhere around midday.

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