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Solder absent from practice; Cannon, Bolden back

News from Gillette Stadium as the Patriots prepare for their next opponent, the Miami Dolphins.

Left tackle Nate Solder was a surprise absentee when the Patriots suited up for practice Wednesday morning. He did not appear to be injured during the Browns game this past Sunday. We'll know more when the injury report is released later this afternoon.

Also not on the field was rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson (left foot, injured in Week 12 versus Denver), who was spotted on game day at Gillette wearing a medical boot. On a positive note, though, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (right ankle, injured against Denver) was back in uniform, along with running back Brandon Bolden, who missed last Friday's practice and the Cleveland game for non-injury-related reasons.

With tight end Rob Gronkowski now on injured reserve, the Patriots re-signed tight end D.J. Williams who first joined the club a couple of weeks ago but was quickly released. He's now wearing jersey number 45 (he'd worn 86 in his one and only game at Houston).

Meanwhile, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (left knee, injured Week 11 at Carolina) continues to progress. He returned to practice last week, but was limited and did not suit up against Cleveland. He also was unable to hop during the ball protection drill that skill position players were doing last week, but did do so today – a positive sign that he's heading in the right direction, rehab-wise.

The Patriots took their workout indoors today inside the climate-controlled Dana-Farber Field House, perhaps because of the frosty, snowy conditions here in New England, but also to prepare for the warmer climate they'll face in South Florida this Sunday.

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