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Patriots practice Thursday: Brandon Spikes returns, Alfonzo Dennard, Aaron Dobson, Marcus Cannon absent

12.05.13 at 11:28 am ET
Brandon Spikes was missing from Patriots practice on Wednesday. (AP)

Brandon Spikes was missing from Patriots practice on Wednesday. (AP)

FOXBORO — Linebacker Brandon Spikes returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday for what was likely a “maintenance” rest day.

The hard-hitting run-stopping linebacker was on Wednesday’s injury report for a “non-injury related” issue, though he has been dealing with a sore knee for several weeks, as indicated on previous injury reports.

Three other players were absent, including Alfonzo Dennard, who left the team to deal with a court appearance in Nebraska.

Two other Patriots were absent due to injury as rookie receiver Aaron Dobson continues to nurse a foot injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s game in Houston. Dobson played just 36 of 87 snaps against the Broncos on Nov. 24 before showing up on the injury report last week. The team re-signed Austin Collie Thursday morning for wide receiver depth.

Marcus Cannon injured his ankle against the Broncos in the first half against the Broncos and was replaced by Will Svitek for the remainder of the game. Cannon was not active last Sunday against Houston, marking the first game he has missed this season.

For the second straight day, the team worked out in sweats and shells on the lower practice fields and will practice again on Friday in preparation for the Browns this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

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