Dennard returns to Patriots practice

Dennard returns to Patriots practice
January 17, 2013, 6:31 pm
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FOXBORO -- Save for the expected absence of tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots had full attendance at practice on Thursday.

Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was back at work after missing Wednesday's session for "non-injury related" reasons. According to ESPN Boston, the rookie was in Nebraska on Wednesday for a hearing on pretrial motions in relation to his April 21, 2012 arrest. His trial for felony assault and two misdemeanors is officially scheduled for Feb. 11, according to the report.

The charges stem from an incident during which Dennard allegedly punched a police officer outside of a Nebraska bar. The allegations forced Dennard's draft stock down, and the Patriots eventually selected Dennard out of the University of Nebraska in the seventh round.

Gronkowski broke his left arm for the second time this season against the Texans in New England's Divisional Round win. He will be out for the remainder of the playoffs.

The Patriots worked out in shells and sweats on the breezy lower practice field behind Gillette Stadium.

During ball-security drills, coach Bill Belichick tried to pry a ball loose from receiver Brandon Lloyd and knocked him to the ground. It was a light moment -- at least for those watching -- in a week that has been characterized by the team's laser focus.