FOXBORO -- On Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, Dont’a Hightower was in uniform and practicing with his teammates for the first time since training camp began last month. Hightower's participation means he has been removed from the physically unable to perform list.
In full pads, wearing Alabama crimson underneath his Patriots jersey, Hightower took part in drills with on-the-line players early in the practice. Members of the media were able to watch only a few minutes of the workout following warm-ups.
The players Hightower worked in with comes as little surprise as he has been used at the end of the line in certain packages in the past. With David Harris now in the mix at linebacker, and with Rob Ninkovich retired, it could free up Hightower to play more on the end of the line.
Nate Solder, Deatrich Wise and LaAdrian Waddle were all back on the practice field for the Patriots Tuesday as well. Solder has yet to play this preseason, while Wise suffered a head injury in the team’s preseason-opener against the Jaguars. Waddle sustained a head injury last week.
Missing from the session were Rex Burkhead as well as Malcolm Mitchell, Matthew Slater, Shea McClellin, Tony Garcia, Matt Lengel, Derek Rivers and Andrew Jelks (non-football injury list).
Burkhead seemed to finish Saturday's game in Houston without incident. He spoke to reporters on Monday, and there were no indications he was dealing with any physical limitations. Mitchell seemed to tweak something in his knee on his first play against the Texans, but he stayed in the game and caught two passes for 13 yards.
Dont'a Hightower is off of PUP. In uniform and practicing. Elandon Roberts and Brandon King out here in red jerseys. pic.twitter.com/FG9q31a7yr— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) August 22, 2017
Nate Solder back out at practice. Deatrich Wise out here as well but took off for another field after warmups with Geneo Grissom.— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) August 22, 2017
Burkhead and Mitchell, both of whom played Saturday, were missing. Slater, McClellin, Garcia, Lengel, Rivers, Jelks (NFI) not present.— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) August 22, 2017