Running back Rex Burkhead was spotted at the start of Thursday’s practice, a good sign for the veteran who was injured earlier in the season. (He's eligible to play on Dec. 2 vs. Vikings). It also means Burkhead takes the Patriots’ second and final designated to return injured reserve spot, which closes the door on any potential return this year for Ja'Whaun Bentley or Eric Rowe. Cole Croston, who cleared waivers, was also spotted by those in attendance. It appears he’s ticketed for the final remaining spot on New England’s practice squad.
Not seen at the beginning of the workout? Trent Brown. The left tackle, who has yet to miss a snap through the first nine games, missed Wednesday’s walkthrough with what the team said was an illness.
Here's the injury report -- Brown, again, was the only one absent. Have to imagine the pickup of Matt Tobin might have been made with Brown's status in mind. Not saying he'd start -- that would fall to LaAdrian Waddle -- but he could give them some needed depth at the position, at least in the short term.