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OL Cameron Fleming, DB Nate Ebner both missing from start of Patriots practice 10.08.14 at 12:44 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Defensive back Nate Ebner and offensive lineman Cameron Fleming were the only two players missing from the walkthrough Wednesday afternoon

Both Ebner and Fleming, who missed practice all last week and were sidelined for last Sunday’s game against the Bengals, are both suffering from finger injuries.

The Patriots continue to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Bills in Buffalo.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Cameron Fleming, Nate Ebner,
Nate Ebner (finger), Cameron Fleming ruled out, Dominique Easley (knee) among 5 questionable 10.03.14 at 5:42 pm ET
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Dominique Easley

Dominique Easley

FOXBORO — Defensive back and special teamer Nate Ebner and offensive lineman Cameron Fleming have been ruled out for Sunday night’s game against the Bengals.

But the real news of the day from the injury report came in the form of the addition of rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley, who was limited and is questionable with a knee injury.

Four other Patriots were again limited Friday, led by linebackers Dont’a Hightower (knee) and Jamie Collins (thigh). Also limited Friday was defensive end Chandler Jones (shoulder) and defensive back Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder). Hightower, Collins, Jones and Dennard are all questionable.

As for the Bengals, star linebacker Vontaze Burfict returned to practice Friday for the first time this week, but is officially listed as one of three “doubtful” Bengals for Sunday.

Burfict suffered concussions in Cincinnati’s first two games and missed their win over Tennessee. A.J. Green was added to the Bengals injury report Friday with a toe ligament injury suffered in Week 2 against Atlanta. But Green is still listed as probable.

Did Not Participate
DB Nate Ebner (finger) OUT
OL Cameron Fleming (finger) OUT

Limited Participation
DL Dominique Easley (knee) QUESTIONABLE
LB Jamie Collins (thigh) QUESTIONABLE
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee) QUESTIONABLE
DE Chandler Jones (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE

Full Participation
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) PROBABLE

Read More: Cameron Fleming, Cincinnati Bengals, Dominique Easley, Nate Ebner
Nate Ebner (finger), Cameron Fleming (finger) not spotted at Friday practice at 12:02 pm ET
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Nate Ebner

Nate Ebner

FOXBORO — For a third straight day, Nate Ebner and Cameron Fleming were the only two players not spotted at the start of Patriots practice on Friday outside Gillette Stadium.

The two were also missing from Wednesday and Thursday practices, with each player suffering from what the team described in the injury report as a finger injury. With both missing all three days of practice, it’s likely neither would be available against Cincinnati Sunday night. The injury report (along with their chances for playing) will be released later Friday afternoon.

Also missing from the sweats and shells workout on the upper grass fields was practice squad offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann.

Ebner, a core special teamer, has seen more and more time as a defensive back over the first four weeks of the season. Meanwhile, Fleming, a rookie offensive lineman out of Stanford, made his first NFL start last Monday against the Chiefs at right guard.

Also in attendance at practice Friday were Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya of NBC “Sunday Night Football” broadcast crew. The game will kick off at 8:30 p.m. Sunday and be seen nationally on the network.

Read More: Cameron Fleming, Caylin Hauptmann, Cincinnati Bengals, Cris Collinsworth
Nate Ebner (finger), Cameron Fleming (finger) miss practice again 10.02.14 at 6:32 pm ET
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Cameron Fleming

Cameron Fleming

For a second straight day, defensive back and special teamer Nate Ebner and offensive lineman Cameron Fleming were the only two Patriots not practicing. Both are dealing with finger issues.

Four Patriots were again limited, led by linebackers Dont’a Hightower (knee) and Jamie Collins (thigh). Also limited Thursday were defensive end Chandler Jones (shoulder) and defensive back Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder).

The Patriots returned outdoors Thursday for a practice on the upper grass fields after a walkthrough inside the field house on Wednesday.

As for the Bengals, star linebacker Vontaze Burfict missed his second straight day. He suffered concussions in Cincinnati’s first two games and missed their win over Tennessee. Offensive linemen Clint Boling and Andrew Whitworth were given “veteran days” by the Bengals as they rest them for Sunday night. Defensive ends Robert Geathers and Margus Hunt returned to practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday.

Did Not Participate
DB Nate Ebner (finger)
OL Cameron Fleming (finger)

Limited Participation
LB Jamie Collins (thigh)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder)
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
DE Chandler Jones (shoulder)

Full Participation
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)

Read More: Cameron Fleming, Cincinnati Bengals, Nate Ebner, New England Patriots
Nate Ebner, Cameron Fleming not spotted at start of Thursday practice at 11:58 am ET
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Nate Ebner and Cameron Fleming were the only two players not spotted at the start of Patriots practice on Thursday, according to reports.

The two were also missing from Wednesday practice, with each one suffering from what the team described in the injury report as a finger injury.

Ebner, a core special teamer, has seen more and more time as a defensive back over the first four weeks of the season. Meanwhile, Fleming, a rookie offensive lineman out of Stanford, made his first NFL start last Monday against the Chiefs at right guard.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Cameron Fleming, Nate Ebner,
DB Nate Ebner (finger), OL Cameron Fleming (finger) miss Wednesday practice 10.01.14 at 6:41 pm ET
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Nate Ebner

Nate Ebner

Defensive back Nate Ebner (finger) and offensive lineman Cameron Fleming (finger) were the only two Patriots held out of practice by the team on Wednesday because of injury.

In addition, the Patriots listed four as limited, a group that includes linebackers Dont’a Hightower (knee) and Jamie Collins (thigh), as well as defensive end Chandler Jones (shoulder).

The Patriots continue preparing for their date with the Bengals Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

Did Not Participate
DB Nate Ebner (finger)
OL Cameron Fleming (finger)

Limited Participation
LB Jamie Collins (thigh)
CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder)
LB Dont’a Hightower (knee)
DE Chandler Jones (shoulder)

Full Participation
TE Rob Gronkowski (knee)

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Alfonzo Dennard, Cameron Fleming, chandler jones, Dont'a Hightower
Why you should expect to see more and more of Nate Ebner in Patriots’ secondary 09.16.14 at 4:29 pm ET
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Nate Ebner

Nate Ebner

From the moment he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft, Nate Ebner has always been looked at as a special teams player who could play safety in a pinch.

That approach may be changing in the minds of Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. In addition to playing 20 of 28 special teams snaps, Ebner – the former MVP of the US junior rugby squad – saw action in 14 of 66 defensive snaps playing free safety.

Is that a sign of growing confidence and growth in the 25-year-old Ebner?

“I’€™d say it’€™s yes on both accounts,” Belichick said Tuesday, before beaming about Ebner’s development. “We certainly have a lot of confidence in Nate. We’€™ve seen Nate grow and improve. I would probably put him in the, not the all-time top, but maybe in the top five percent all-time of players that I’€™ve coached from where they were in college to how they grew in the NFL.

“Nate had almost no defensive experience at Ohio State. He’€™s adapted in a relatively short amount of time€“ going into his third year so it’€™s really two-plus years ‘€“ adapted very well to the knowledge of our defense, to the understanding of opponents’€™ offenses, to instinctiveness and reading and recognition at a position that he plays right in the middle of the field, which is among the most difficult, inside linebacker and safety where the volume and the number of things that can happen are the greatest, where you have to really see everybody on the field, all 11 guys. His development has really been outstanding.”

Ebner was a “preferred walk-on player” for Ohio State and did not start playing football until 2009, but quickly became their most valuable on special teams. Even though he played only a handful of plays from scrimmage at nickel back as a back up, Ebner was a special teams standout.

In 2011 he was voted the team’€™s most inspirational player, receiving the Bo Rein Award, and the team’s best special teams player, earning the Ike Kelley Award. He was a three-time Big Ten Conference All-Academic honoree. In his 36 career games he had 30 tackles from 2009′€“11.

On Ohio State’s Pro Day, he had an unofficial 4.47 40-yard dash time, and 39-inch vertical jump. He also bench-pressed 225 pounds 23 times, ran the 60-yard shuttle in 10.99 seconds, recorded a broad jump of 10 feet 8 inches, and had a short-shuttle time of 4.04 seconds and a 3-cone drill time of 6.59 seconds.

The raw talent was there. It was the football technique that needed work and Belichick was confident that with the right training and teaching, Ebner had the brains and desire to pick up his defensive system.

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Read More: Brian Flores, matt patricia, Nate Ebner, New England Patriots
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