… Sunshine and relatively warm, 50-degree temperatures made for a comfortable Patriots practice outside on the single practice field behind Gillette Stadium. Several mounds of snow remain from the weekend's storm in the corners of the field, but those are starting to melt, making the edges of the field somewhat soggy. The team was in helmets, shorts or sweats, and shells for the workout on the game surface.
… Wide receiver Wes Welker (unknown) joined linebacker Dane Fletcher (thumb) as the only Patriots who weren't seen at the start of practice. We'll have an update on Welker's status around 4 o'clock Eastern, when the injury report is released. Check the blog around then for details.
… Owner Robert Kraft paid a rare in-season visit to practice Wednesday. He shook hands with players as they went through drills and chatted with some of the staff for a few minutes while
… Two of the more popular interview subjects in the locker room today were cornerbacks Phillip Adams and Antwaun Molden. Find out why in a full report later today on patriots.com.
UPDATE … 4:08 p.m.
A neck injury is what kept Welker out of today's practice. I'm guessing he got that from the Troy Polamalu tackle he suffered, in which the Steelers' safety spun Welker's head around while bringing him to the ground. We used that shot as the cover of this week's PFW, and you can clearly see how far around Welker's head went on that hit. Fletcher's thumb is still being listed as the reason for his extended absence, now in its third week.
Seven other Patriots were limited today: safety Josh Barrett (thumb), defensive lineman Shaun Ellis (rib, suffered at Pittsburgh), running back Kevin Faulk (presumably the right knee that he had surgically repaired), running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (right toe), tight end Aaron Hernandez (left knee), linebacker Jerod Mayo (left knee), and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back).
The Giants are a hurting bunch as well. Six New Yorkers didn't practice today, including starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), wide receivers Mario Manningham (illness) and Hakeem Nicks (hamstring), and defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee/shoulder). Defensive end Justin Tuck (groin/neck) was limited.