FOXBORO -- The Patriots held a shorts and shells session behind Gillette Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
Dont'a Hightower, who played just nine snaps against Buffalo before leaving the game with a hamstring injury, was on the field for Week 5's first practice. Logan Mankins is also back after being inactive last weekend against the Bills.
Newly absent: Steve Gregory. The safety limped off the field in Buffalo during the fourth quarter. His injury is unknown.
Rob Gronkowski was also missing during practice's media availability. He was on last week's injury report (hip) but played 68 of 77 offensive snaps Sunday.
Aaron Hernandez (ankle) and Julian Edelman (hand) were the last two unavailable. The pair missed every practice in Week 4, as well as game day.
A few players -- Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Matthew Slater -- were wearing the pink cleats that will be featured in Sunday's tilt against Denver. Patriots will don the gear this week and the next to promote breast cancer awareness.
Defensive back Malcolm Williams wore a black jersey Wednesday, given to those who best helped New England prepare during the previous week's practices.
Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown posted an apology on social media Tuesday night for his Facebook Live video that has caused a stir over the last few days.
"I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans," said Brown in a statement on his Twitter. ""It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.
"I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect" on Sunday's game against the Patriots, but it was "selfish and inconsiderate" of his star wide receiver.
Brown could still be fined for violating the league's social-media policy. The policy states that players, coaches and football operations personnel are banned from using social media on game days 90 minutes before kickoff, during games, and before "traditional media interviews."
Former NFL player Dan Koppen says the team locker room after a win is a sacred place and that Steelers WR Antonio Brown should know not to be posting on Facebook.