FOXBORO -- With heavy rain and strong winds gusting at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, the Patriots moved their practice into the Dana-Farber Field House.
Not present in the shorts-and-shells session were receiver Aaron Dobson, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui. Two new players were on the practice turf, an offensive lineman wearing No. 69, and another player who appeared to be newly-signed tight end DJ Williams wearing No. 86.
Dobson played just two snaps in the second half of Sunday night's win over the Broncos, giving way to fellow rookie wideout Kenbrell Thompkins to get 41 snaps after halftime.
Cannon was injured in the first quarter when Denver's Von Miller sacked Tom Brady and forced New England's second lost fumble of the night. Brady fell on the back of Cannon's legs and the big right tackle did not return with an ankle injury. Will Svitek -- New England's third right tackle this season -- took over for Cannon who got the starting job at that spot when Sebastian Vollmer suffered a season-ending leg injury.
Hoomanawanui was inactive for Sunday's game with a knee injury, and as a result the Patriots had just two tight ends -- Rob Gronkowski and Matthew Mulligan -- active against the Broncos. Williams' signing should help with the team's depth at that position.
After the Patriots stretched and warmed up, the team broke off into groups, and all ball carriers worked on a ball-security drill. Running back Stevan Ridley was the first player in line for the drill. While running and jumping over pads set up on the field, Ridley took several whacks from coaches wearing pads on their arms as they tried to punch the ball loose. Throughout the drill, running backs coach Ivan Fears shouted "high and tight!"
Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard played just 21 snaps on Sunday and has been limited in practice recently because of a knee injury. During a drill in which defensive backs back-pedaled and then changed direction to break on a pass, he seemed to be moving without limitation.
Linebacker Dont'a Hightower and defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga -- both of whom did not play in the second half on Sunday -- were present.