Rex Burkhead among notable absences at Wednesday's practice

Photo via CSNNE

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead debuted with a bang against the Houston Texans last Saturday, but it appears he's having a hard time returning to the field. The former Cincinnati Bengal missed practice for the second day in a row on Wednesday, putting his availability for the Patriots' third preseason game against the Lions on Friday night at risk.

Along with Burkhead, a number of notable names were also absent or limited Wednesday. Defensive ends Geneo Grissom and Deatrich Wise Jr. both participated in rehab work on a side field during practice, while receivers Matthew Slater and Malcolm Mitchell, linebacker Shea McClellin, defensive lineman Derek Rivers, and offensive lineman and Tony Garcia all failed to participate, among others.

On a more positive note, linebacker Elandon Roberts returned to full-contact work on Wednesday after hurting his ribs in Houston, and running back Mike Gillislee continued to practice at full strength after returning to work Tuesday. For Roberts, a second-year man looking to take on a larger role in the middle of the field, the quick return is definitely a good sign. In unrelated news, country music singer Kenny Chesney also dropped by practice. So, there's that.

Altogether, it was an up-and-down day at Pats practice Wednesday. The team departed for Detroit later that evening ahead of their contest with the Lions Friday, meaning that some of the players who didn't participate today most likely won't participate Friday either. As soon as more information becomes available, we'll let you know.

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