Mankins, Jones, Bolden back at practice

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Mankins, Jones, Bolden back at practice

FOXBORO -- As the Patriots prepare for one of the biggest games of the season against the Texans on Monday night, two of its starters have returned to the practice field.

Both Logan Mankins and Chandler Jones were present at the media access portion of today's practice. Though it has not yet been made official if either player will be available on Monday night, things appear to be trending in that direction.

Both players were present at the team's walkthrough on Wednesday. Today's practice was held in sweats and shells.

Offensive lineman Nick McDonald and tight end Rob Gronkowski were both absent from the session.

Mankins hasn't practiced since Week 10 before New England's game with Buffalo. Jones was last seen on the field against Indianapolis in Week 11 before he hurt his ankle.

Running back Brandon Bolden was also back at practice on Thursday, his first since being handed a four-game suspension by the NFL for using performance enhancers.

Blakely: Why Celtics should roll the dice on Bender

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Blakely: Why Celtics should roll the dice on Bender

A. Sherrod Blakely joins SNC to give his NBA Draft preview, and explains why he thinks the Boston Celtics should roll the dice on 18-year-old Dragan Bender if they get the chance.