Tight end Aaron Hernandez (right ankle) returned to action after missing the past two practices and the last game. He looked fine as he made sharp cuts during pass-catching drills and planted firmly while blocking.
Hernandez was back in the locker room before practice, a day after the birth of his first child. He did not stop to talk with the media, however.
Linebacker Tracy White (left foot), defensive end Trevor Scott (hamstring) and rookie running back Brandon Bolden (left knee) were the only players not seen at the start of practice.
Safety Steve Gregory has been practicing again of late, after missing much of the last month-plus. He was asked today if he plans on playing this weekend. "Yeah," he responded, "I mean I'm out there practicing now."
Co-captain Devin McCourty answered several questions today about his recent move to safety, while Gregory and Patrick Chung have been on the shelf. "It's cool, it's different. You get used to it, seeing more of the field," McCourty explained. "I think you have more responsibility since you have a viewpoint to let everyone else know. I know when you're playing corner, it's not as easy to see the different things that you see on film when you're just on that side of the field. I try to just communicate and let guys know if I see anything from film study that might happen."
UPDATE… 4:39 p.m.
No real surprises on the New England injury report. White, Scott, and Bolden did not practice.
Fourteen other Patriots were limited in practice: CB Kyle Arrington (concussion) DL Ron Brace (elbow), S Patrick Chung (shoulder, injured at Seattle), Gregory, tight ends Rob Gronkowski (hip) and Hernandez, rookie LB Dont'a Hightower (left hamstring), WR Brandon Lloyd (knee), left guard/co-captain Logan Mankins (calf/hip), linebacker/co-captain Jerod Mayo (elbow), OL Nick McDonald (right shoulder), linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee), RT Sebastian Vollmer (back), and WR Wes Welker (ankle).
Defensive tackle Kyle Love (knee) and WR Julian Edelman (left hand) took part in full.
Out in Buffalo, the Bills list 20 players, six of whom did not practice toda (mostly starters): DE Mark Anderson (knee), WR Stevie Johnson (thigh), CBs Terrence McGee and Aaron Williams (both with knee issues), OT Erik Pears (hip), and DT Kyle Williams (ankle).
Just two Bills were limited: DT Spencer Johnson (ankle) and G Kraig Urbik (foot).
Twelve others were full participants, most of them starters.