FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots were on the lower field behind Gillette Stadium for the first of three practices scheduled during their postseason bye week.
There were four players not spotted during the media-access period: LG Logan Mankins, WR Aaron Dobson, WR Josh Boyce and CB Alfonzo Dennard.
Mankins suffered an ankle injury in the season finale against Buffalo, and Dobson aggravated a prior foot injury in that game as well. Boyce has not played since suffering an ankle injury in Miami in Week 15, and Dennard sat out the finale with shoulder and knee injuries.
On the plus side, S Devin McCourty was on the field for the first time since suffering a concussion against Baltimore in the second-to-last game of the season.
It was bitter cold on the practice field, and DT Chris Jones was the only player braving the conditions in short sleeves.
New England is not required to submit practice/injury reports this week.