Let the cuts begin.
Yes, it's early. Patriots training camp hasn't even started yet. Still, that doesn't mean guys can't lose their jobs, a fact of which Joseph Addai is well aware right now.
The Patriots announced on Wednesday that Addai has been released.
It's a bit of a puzzling move because the he figured to be a decent fit in New England. Addai was signed back in May after a six-year stay with Indianapolis. Even if he had lost a step or two, at the time, he was viewed as a capable back used to playing in a pass-happy offense. His hands were thought to be good enough to be an option as a receiver out of the backfield, and he figured to have enough experience to perform blitz-pickup duties.
And he was only 29 years old. He had to have had something left in the tank, was the thought.
Well, maybe not.
The move leaves the Patriots a little thinner at running back. Second-year backs Shane Vereen and Stephen Ridley are back, as is Danny Woodhead. After that, there's undrafted rookie out of Ole Miss Brandon Bolden, and that's it.
Addai made 75,000 guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots had a welcome face back on the practice field on Wednesday, as tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to action after missing the team's previous five practices as he dealt with an injury.
Gronkowski participated in the warmup period of practice and then remained with the majority of his teammates for drills.
The last time Gronkowski was spotted on the field was last Monday, which was the first of three joint practices between the Patriots and the Bears. He pulled up after pursuing a Tom Brady pass, walked along the sideline, met with head trainer Jim Whalen, and then left practice early. He did not suit up for Thursday's game against Chicago.
Gronkowski has not participated in a preseason game since 2012.
Patriots not spotted at Wednesday's practice were Shaq Mason, Jonathan Cooper, Sebastian Vollmer (on the physically unable to perform list) and Dion Lewis (also on PUP). Alan Branch, who has been suspended by the team before last week's preseason game, was also missing.
Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich, Malcolm Mitchell, Shea McClellin, Tre' Jackson (PUP) and Danny Amendola (PUP) were present for warmups but went to a lower field for conditioning. Amendola and Jackson were not in pads for the short-and-shells session.
Jon Bon Jovi was taking in the session alongside Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft.
Michael Felger wants no part of Josh Gordon-to-the-Patriots, no matter the price.
Hanley Ramirez is getting a night off as the Red Sox look for their third straight win against the Rays tonight at Tropicana Field.
Travis Shaw will play first base, with Brock Holt at third.
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Rick Porcello P
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SH
Matt Duffy SS
Logan Morrison 1B
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Bobby Wilson C
Matt Andriese P