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Patriots Defensive End Jabaal Sheard Returns to Practice, Sebastian Vollmer and Jamie Collins Missing

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The Patriots are returning a key member of their defensive line.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are getting one of their pass rushers back on the field as Jabaal Sheard made an appearance at practice.

Sheard has missed the last three games after suffering an ankle injury early against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots have been unable to use their traditional three defensive end sets without Sheard active and his return is a good sign for the pass rush.

In other news, tackles Marcus Cannon and Sebastian Vollmer were not spotted, and guard Tre Jackson and linebacker Jamie Collins were not present.

Cannon is still struggling through his toe injury, which he also suffered early against the Colts. The Patriots had replaced him with Vollmer, who is currently going through concussion protocol. Don't panic about Vollmer until it's Friday. These injuries have forced the Patriots to add multiple offensive linemen to the practice squad.

Rookie guard Tre Jackson was still unavailable with a knee injury, although he is expected to return in a week or so. MassLive's Kevin Duffy reported that rookie Shaq Mason was no longer sporting a knee brace, which is a positive sign, but NESN's Doug Kyed noted that both Mason and rookie David Andrews had sleeves on their legs for extra support.

Linebacker Jamie Collins was absent with an illness. Bill Belichick doesn't want him around to get other people sick and hopefully he'll return soon.