The Patriots are holding a full-pads practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium currently, and while on the plus side four players returned, 17 were missing.
RB Stevan Ridley, LB Brandon Spikes, S Patrick Chung and LB/SpT Tracy White are the quartet who were back on the field for practice.
We already know that six of the missing have been cut: Deion Branch, Brian Hoyer, Dan Koppen, James Ihedigbo, Derrick Martin and Aaron Lavarias.
The other 11 not spotted were: Kyle Love, Sebastian Vollmer, Shane Vereen, Jesse Holley, Sergio Brown, Jeff Demps, Tyler Urban, Nick McDonald, Visanthe Shiancoe, Niko Koutouvides and Marcus Harrison.
Of those players, it seems safe to speculate that Vereen, Demps, McDonald and Shiancoe were held out because of injury. Vollmer is coming off his first preseason appearance, playing a few snaps against the Giants; Koutouvides also left the game against the Giants with a wrist injury, but returned to the sideline (though not the game) later.
By that count, there are 58 players on the field, at least five of whom will be released shortly after practice ends. Don’t let anyone ever say this isn’t a tough business.