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Patriots practice update: TE Rob Gronkowski returns

The best tight end in the league returned to practice for the first time in more than a week.

The New England Patriots have a pretty busy day today. They have released veteran wide receiver Nate Washington and, particularly noteworthy, former starting center Bryan Stork. No, wait, they did not release him, they traded Stork to Washington. But the point still stands: the Patriots have a pretty busy day today.

The league’s best tight end was back on the practice fields today after not participating the last week. He pulled up during the Patriots’ joint session with the Chicago Bears on August 15 and took himself out of a one-on-one passing drill. It was later reported that the injury was minor and that Gronkowski was dealing with a bruise.

Gronkowski’s return makes New England’s list of absentees a little shorter. RB Dion Lewis (knee), OGs Jonathan Cooper (foot) and Shaq Mason (hand), OT Sebastian Vollmer (general body) and DT Alan Branch (team suspension) were the lone players not spotted during the 20-minute window during which journalists were allowed to watch the session.

Wide receivers Danny Amendola (PUP) and Malcolm Mitchell, guard Tre’ Jackson (PUP), edge defenders Jabaal Sheard and Rob Ninkovich as well as linebacker Shea McClellin were spotted but left the field to work on a different won on individual drills.