FOXBORO - Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco was absent from the start of practice Friday at Gillette Stadium.
Ochocinco has participated in full in virtually every practice this season. He was at practice on Thursday.
While Ocho's disappointing 2011 performance - especially in light of the money the Patriots have sunk into him - might lead to speculation of a surprise release, the chance of that seems remote. Deion Branch showed up on the injury report Thursday with a tender hip and - ineffective as Ocho's been (11 catches in 10 games) - the Patriots have spent the year propping him up at every turn.
Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher were also absent from practice .
Among Patriots in greater states of disrepair, Matt Light, Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty were all on the field as the team stretched. Light seemed to move gingerly. Chung, who missed the past two games with a right foot issue, got around pretty well.