Rob Gronkowski returns to practice with Patriots

Gronkowski has had an ankle and back injury.

Rob Gronkowski
The Patriots held practice at their Gillette Stadium practice field. –Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots got a few players back to practice Thursday, and Rob Gronkowski was one of them.

The tight end, who missed last Sunday’s game in Chicago and Wednesday’s practice with a back injury, was present and participated in positional drills during the initial part of practice. Gronkowski’s work included some blocking drills, in which he’d engage with a pad held by teammate Jacob Hollister, something that would indicate his back is feeling better.

Gronkowski also has an ankle injury, but had been playing through it.

In addition to Gronowski, right tackle Marcus Cannon (concussion) and defensive end Deatrich Wise (ankle/knee) were also back after missing Wednesday’s practice.

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Running back Sony Michel (knee), cornerback Eric Rowe (groin), and offensive lineman Brian Schwenke, who wasn’t previously on the injury report, were missing from the practice in full pads on a sunny fall day.

Cornerback Duke Dawson, who is on injured reserve because of a hamstring injury but returned to practice Wednesday, was present yet again.

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