FOXBORO - Monday has been a big day for practice field appearances and disappearances.
As the Patriots took the field for a workout in shorts and shells this afternoon, rookie first-rounder Dominique Easley and second-year wideout Aaron Dobson both joined in for the first 45 minutes before adjourning to work out with trainers.
I'm still trying to establish whether the players came off the physically unable to perform list officially. Since the team was not in full attire and there were no drills against opposition, there may have been a loophole that let's them work out in that capacity and stay on the PUP. Either way, it's a positive sign for both. Easley is coming off an ACL injury sustained last year at Florida. Dobson had a stress fracture surgically repaired in the offseason.
Rob Gronkowski, meanwhile, took part in 7-on-7 work for the first time Monday afternoon. Gronk's been working on individual drills throughout camp but not against contesting defense.
Meanwhile, backup quarterback Ryan Mallett missed his second straight practice in the wake of last week's forgettable preseason debut. Free agent corner Brandon Browner also wasn't spotted at practice.