FOXBORO -- It was easier to spot Rob Gronkowski on the practice field with New England's roster cut to bare bones.
The tight end was back on the field, in pads, for the first time since his June back surgery. Gronkowski stretched and ran with his teammates, and worked through some agility and blocking drills during practice's early media window. Though he did hit a pad held by a coach, he didn't appear to be going at full speed.
Three players were not spotted: Running back Leon Washington, defensive back Marquice Cole, and offensive lineman Will Svitek. Five others, including recently released defensive lineman Marcus Forston and linebacker Jeff Tarpinian, were present as part of the practice squad.