Mankins, Hightower present at practice; five missing


Mankins, Hightower present at practice; five missing

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.