FOXBORO -- Steve Gregory was the only player not spotted at New England's first practice after the bye. The safety broke his right thumb in New England's November 3 win over Pittsburgh.
Otherwise, the Patriots had a full house on Tuesday. Running back Brandon Bolden, who missed practice November 5, was back with the team. Bolden has been dealing with a bad knee for most of the season. Fellow back Shane Vereen could give Bolden a rest in Monday night's game. Vereen has been on short-term IR since breaking a bone in his wrist Week 1.
"As soon as he is ready and able to help us and we are able to play him, certainly he will have a role in the game," Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels noted Monday.
It was a good sign for Rob Ninkovich to be on the field out of the break. The defensive end suffered a foot injury against Pittsburgh and was forced out of the game. He was at New England's November 5 workout, but his level of health was not clear. A week of rest and six more days until kickoff against Carolina should help.
Non-football injury reserve players Armond Armstead and Mark Harrison still have not debuted. Both were eligible to start practicing Week 7 and have only until the conclusion of Week 11 to be activated. Monday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said of Armstead: "We’ll keep going but . . . we’re running out of time. I’d say that looks less likely now with each day that goes by."