Tom Brady was absent, but there are other stories from the Patriots' practice Wednesday. Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins was limited due to a concussion as well as a hip injury. Also, wide receiver Aaron Dobson was on the field for the first time since the regular-season finale when he aggravated a foot injury.
The concussion is the bigger story than the hip injury for Thompkins. He suffered the concussion last week against the Colts, so his status is up in the air, but it's a good sign that he is already able to practice. Thompkins' injuries make Dobson's return even more important for a team that has a dearth of outside receivers. If they both play, neither wideout is anything more than a lottery ticket in a possible shootout against the Broncos. But New England needs some threat to spread Denver's defense out, taking the attention off of Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola .