… Coming off five straight days off during their bye week, the Patriots have an extra day to prepare for this week's opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers. They donned sweats, shells, and helmets for today's rare Tuesday practice, down on the single practice field behind Gillettes Stadium. Conditions were perfect: sunny, upper 50s, with a slight breeze.
… Linebacker Dane Fletcher is now the only Patriot who isn't participating in practice. Three of the four players who didn't suit up for last week's couple of sessions were back out there today: QB Tom Brady (unknown), rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling (hip), and left tackle Matt Light, who appeared to injure his leg or foot at the end of the Dallas game.
… Rookie o-lineman Marcus Cannon made his debut on the field for New England. He'd been on the non-football injury list since arriving in Foxborough while he recovered from a form of cancer (non-Hodgkins lymphoma). The team now has three weeks to decide whether or not to activate Cannon.
… Five players were awarded the black, practice-player-of-the-week jerseys: cornerback Antwaun Molden, o-lineman Ryan Wendell, and three practice squadders – d-lineman Alex Silvestro and o-linemen Thomas Welch and Matt Kopa.
… Rookie cornerback Josh Victorian has been released from the practice squad. Filling his spot is rookie Malcolm Williams, a seventh-round draft choice by New England who was cut at the end of the summer.
… Sebastian Vollmer spoke briefly to reporters in the locker room prior to practice. The right tackle has been at the past several workouts, but hasn't been active since the opener at Miami. All he would say is that he's hopeful he'll be able to play Sunday in Pittsburgh. Generally, though, when an injured player talks to the media, it's a good indication that he's ready to return to full-time duty.
… A complete locker room interview update will appear later on patriots.com.