… The first of New England's two practices this week was a scrimmage-like atmosphere. The squad was split up into two, with several defenders donning white (offensive) jerseys and half the offensive players changing to blue (defensive) shirts. They also held their Tuesday workout – in sweats, shells, and helmets – on the Gillette Stadium game surface on a mostly cloudy, upper-60s day.
… Biggest news of the day was the return to practice of three players who'd been on the PUP list: running back Kevin Faulk, and defensive linemen Brandon Deaderick and Ron Brace. The Patriots now have up to three weeks to decide whether to activate any of these players.
… Five players weren't on the field today, most notably QB Tom Brady, who was very visible in the locker room beforehand. The others were rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling (hip), linebacker Dan Fletcher (unknown), left tackle Matt Light, who appeared to injure his leg or foot at the end of the Dallas game, and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (back, presumably). It's not unusual for veteran players like Brady to get a practice or two off during the bye week, although he was seen during the Dallas game with a large wrap (ice or heat) on his throwing elbow when the offense was on the sideline. Today's absence could just be a precautionary move.
… New England re-signed second-year cornerback Phillip Adams to the active roster today. He's been the subject of several on-and-off transactions with the Patriots already this season.
… Sadly, all we were allowed to watch today was stretching, so, now observations from the presumed scrimmage. There also won't be any injury reports for the Patriots this week, as they have no game for which to report this weekend.
UPDATE … 4:21 p.m.
The Patriots worked out eight players today, half of whom were specialists: WR Britt Davis, WR Jarred Fayson, K Dave Rayner, LS Chris Massey, P Robert Malone, P Spencer Lanning, OL Phil Trautwein, and OL Robert Brewster. Rayner and Malone are recognizable names, with the former having been a journeyman in the league for several years and the latter being related to Tom Malone, a punter who was with the Patriots several times in recent years in a camp capacity. Not sure how much to read into these workouts, though, as they are routine for New England, which likes to keep its emergency list frequently updated.