The Patriots were back at work on the practice field Wednesday, but without their full complement of players.
Linebacker/co-captain Dont'a Hightower, who suffered a shoulder injury in the second half of the Falcons game, was not seen at practice Wednesday. It’s unclear how severe Hightower’s injury is, but in a possibly related move, the Patriots reportedly promoted practice squad linebacker Trevor Reilly to the active roster.
In order to make room for Reilly, the team had to remove someone currently on the active roster. A likely candidate to be placed on an inactive list (IR or NFI) would be rookie linebacker Harvey Langi, who was involved in a serious car accident the Friday before the Jets game in Week 6. However, as of late this afternoon, the team had yet to make an official announcement.
To fill Reilly’s spot on the practice squad, New England inked defensive tackle Mike Purcell, according to media reports. Purcell was wearing jersey number 96 at practice.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Danny Amendola and defensive lineman Malcom Brown were not spotted at practice. Brown left the Falcons game with an ankle injury, but Amendola’s absence came as a surprise. Eric Rowe, out since the second half of the Panthers game in Week 4 with a groin issue, continues to miss practice time.
On a positive note, cornerback Stephon Gilmore, out all last week with a concussion and ankle problem, suited up for at least a limited portion of practice on Wednesday, while media were allowed to watch the proceedings. Gilmore has missed the Patriots' past two games.