FOXBORO -- The bye week is coming at a good time for the Patriots, it seems. They took the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium for their lone practice of the week on Wednesday, and they were without a handful key players dealing with injuries.
Chris Hogan, who left Sunday's win over the Chargers with a shoulder issue, was not present. Marcus Cannon and Malcom Brown were also missing. Cannon left the Chargers game with an ankle issue, and Brown suffered an ankle injury against the Falcons in Week 7.
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Stephen Gostkowski was also missing from the start of the practice. That's not unusual, although when he's absent, usually he's joined elsewhere by punter Ryan Allen and snapper Joe Cardona. Both Allen and Cardona were present Wednesday.
New backup quarterback Brian Hoyer was on the field, wearing No. 2, for his first practice with the Patriots since training camp in 2012.
Eric Rowe, who aggravated a groin injury in Week 4 and has not practiced since, was back on the field. He has been doing light running as part of his rehabilitation lately so setting foot on the practice field is another step in the right direction for him.
Stephon Gilmore, who did not play last weekend and was listed with a concussion and an ankle injury last week, was on the field and taking part in a tackling drill (form-tackling a tackling dummy) early in the practice.
The session was a shorts-and-shells workout.