… The Patriots practiced in full pads Monday afternoon on a perfect, late-summer day – temps in the upper 70s, lower 80s, sunny, with a slight breeze.
… Carrying over from training camp, which officially came to a close on Saturday, there was a long list of absent players: 20 in all. Most notably, cornerback Leigh Bodden, who didn't take part in Saturday's walkthrough, was not on the field. The rest included rookie RBs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, safety Josh Barrett, RBs Kevin Faulk and Danny Woodhead, rookie DB Malcolm Williams, RB Eric Kettani, rookie LB Jeff Tarpinian, LBs Dane Fletcher, Brandon Spikes, and Gary Guyton, rookie OL Marcus Cannon, OL Ryan Wendell, DL Brandon Deaderick, rookie TE Lee Smith, and DLs Albert Haynesworth, Jermaine Cunningham, Ron Brace, and Mike Wright.
… Guyton and Smith are newcomers to the absentee list. Guyton ran and stretched with the full squad prior to the start of practice, but left when the players broke into position drills.
… On a positive note, wide receiver Taylor Price was back after being out of commission since the Jags game. Rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling also suited up for the first time since early in camp. And fellow corner Darius Butler, who missed Saturday's walkthrough, was back in full pads. … DL Shaun Ellis donned full pads for the first time as a Patriot. He came off the PUP list by taking part in Saturday's walkthrough.
… Fletcher, who left the Tampa Bay game after the second play with a thumb injury, walked into the locker room today wearing a cast on his right arm. It extended from his thumb up his forearm.
… As he did last summer and in both preseason games so far this year, wide receiver Buddy Farnham is getting some action at safety. Today at practice, though still wearing his white jersey (indicative of offensive players), Farnham went to work with the safeties following team stretching period.
… Barrett is now wearing jersey number 30. Newly acquired TE Garrett Mills has Barrett's previous digits, 45.
… For more on today's locker room interview activity, including comments from Vince Wilfork on the University of Miami scandal, please visit patriots.com, where an update will be posted shortly.
… Note, also, that from now on, this is the way we'll be reporting on practice. With the conclusion of training camp, we are in regular-season mode. That means we're only allowed a few minutes of practice viewing per day (mostly of stretching and a few drills). Practice notes will be posted here on the blog, and locker interview recaps will appear on patriots.com, as has been our custom in the past.