Julian Edelman will miss his second consecutive game Sunday when the Patriots host the Broncos at Gillette Stadium.
Edelman (hand) and safety Steve Gregory (hip) were listed as "out" on the Patriots injury report Friday.
Gregory's absence means a larger role for rookie Tavon Wilson who's been challenging for more playing time. In each of the past two weeks, both Gregory and Patrick Chung were at less than their best in pass defense. With a quarterback as experienced as Peyton Manning on the other side, Wilson could be a target on Sunday.
The Patriots also listed 12 players as questionable for Sunday. Among them is tight end Aaron Hernandez who hurt his ankle at the start of the Week 2 game against the Cardinals. Sources say Hernandez is unlikely to play even though he participated in practice on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday.
Others listed questionable include TE Rob Gronkowski (hip), LB Dont'a Hightower (hamstring), G Logan Mankins (calfhip), CB Sterling Moore (knee), RB Shane Vereen (hip) and RT Sebastian Vollmer (back).
Running back Brandon Bolden (knee), DE Brandon Deaderick, DT Justin Francis (ankle), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion) and OL Nick McDonald (shoulder) were also questionable.
DT Kyle Love is probable for Sunday.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots had a handful of surprise absences from Thursday's OTA session, the third such session of the week and the first that was open to reporters.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski, corner Malcolm Butler, corner Logan Ryan and safety Duron Harmon were all missing from the session. The reason for their absences was unclear.
Other players missing from the practice were receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, both of whom are recovering from offseason surgeries. Edelman was spotted wearing a boot on his surgically-repaired foot at Wednesday's Patriots fantasy camp at Gillette Stadium.
Running backs LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis -- both of whom ended last season on injured reserve -- were also missing from the practice, as were offensive linemen Tre' Jackson, Shaq Mason, Josh Kline Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer.
Defensive linemen Frank Kearse and Alan Branch were not present. Safety Nate Ebner, who is in the process of trying to make the US Olympic rugby squad, was also missing.
Long-snapper Joe Cardona, who is currently fulfilling his duties as an active member of the Navy, was also not present Thursday.
On Toucher and Rich, comedian Jim Breuer reads an email he says he received from a man he met at a Mexican resort who said he was John Jastremski, a key figure in the Patriots’ Deflategate saga.
Watch the video for more.
Toucher & Rich try to get to the bottom of comedian Jim Breuer's Deflategate story. Breuer IDs a picture of Patriots equipment staffer John Jastremski as the man he met last year at a resort in Mexico who told him he was the key guy in the controversy.
Watch the video for more.