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Quick Kicks: Fri 8/31 practice notes

The Patriots returned to their practice fields behind Gillette Stadium Friday, the day they’re required to cut their roster down to 53 players (tomorrow, they’ll add as many as eight practice squad players).

The good news was that four players were back in full pads after missing several practices and/or games: RB Stevan Ridley, S Patrick Chung, and LBs Brandon Spikes and Tracy White.

Eighteen other players (including the six who had earlier been reportedly released, as noted in this blog's previous post) were not out there at all. New England had to move 22 players of their roster to get down to 53 today, meaning at least four guys were practicing this afternoon who will soon be let go. The list of 12 absentees (not counting reported cuts) is as follows: WR Jesse Holley; S Sergio Brown; RBs Shane Vereen and Jeff Demps; TEs Visanthe Shiancoe and rookie Tyler Urban; o-linemen Sebastian Vollmer, Nick McDonald, and Matt Kopa; d-linemen Kyle Love and Marcus Harrison; LB Niko Koutouvides.

Vereen, Demps, Shiancoe, McDonald, and Koutouvides are known to have been injured of late. Vollmer and Love are notable because, in the former's case, he played Wednesday night against the Giants, spoke afterward, and looked fine after recently coming off PUP; Love, a starting d-tackle, did not play in the preseason finale, but is not known to have any injury.

As for the players who returned, Ridley and Spikes missed only a couple of practices and the finale, while Chung (shoulder) returns after being out since the Aug. 20 game versus Philly. White has been out of commission since July 28.

By 9 o'clock tonight, all 32 NFL teams must have their final cuts and rosters submitted to the league office. Again, practice squads are to be set by tomorrow (Saturday). And don't be surprised if some players who initially make the cut are later released this weekend, and vice versa. Happens every year in this league. Keep checking back here on the blog for details.

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