Dominique Easley has missed two games this season because of shoulder and knee injuries, but the latter had him listed as a non-participant in New England Patriots practice again on Thursday.
The first-round defensive tackle was the lone absence as the team ramps up preparations for Week 15 versus the Miami Dolphins. Yet having been held out of the last two sessions, it remains to be seen whether or not he will join his teammates at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
LeGarrette Blount is expected to. The running back was back as a full participant in practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session due to a court appearance in Pennsylvania.
Also a full participant was quarterback Tom Brady, who was listed as probable with an ankle injury leading into New England’s Week 14 win over the San Diego Chargers.
As for defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont’a Hightower, both were listed as limited participants on the official practice report Thursday. Jones appears to be edging closer to returning from the hip injury that has sidelined him since October. Hightower appears to be following suit after missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury suffered against the Green Bay Packers.
Also limited was running back Shane Vereen (ankle), wide receivers Julian Edelman (thigh) and Brandon LaFell (shoulder), offensive linemen Cameron Fleming (ankle) and Dan Connolly (ankle), defensive end Rob Ninkovich (heel), long snapper Danny Aiken (concussion) and special-teamer Chris White (ankle).
All but Fleming and White were active versus the Chargers. The rookie fourth-round pick has been out for the Patriots’ last three contests after limping off the field against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11, while the core-four linebacker has been out for the last two contests.
Ninkovich’s heel issue surfaced on the injury report Wednesday.