Fri. July 25, 2014 | STATS
News: Gronkowski ran short routes, caught passes and jogged back to the line of scrimmage Friday. He didn't cut sharply, run hard at defensive backs or participate in 11-on-11 drills.
Impact: The oft-injured tight end for the New England Patriots is practicing at training camp but not ready for full activity as he continues his recovery from knee surgery. He's not even sure he'll play in the season opener Sept. 7. "I'm preparing myself to my max ability right now for the first regular game," Gronkowski said, dripping with sweat after Friday's workout.
News: The Patriots cut Byham on Friday, the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson reports.
Impact: Byham is purely a blocking specialist, and he never had much hope of amounting to more than a camp body for a New England squad that already has a blocking-oriented veteran in Michael Hoomanawanui.
Kenbrell Thompkins - #85 - Wide Receiver - 6'1" - 195lbs
News: Thompkins has looked sharp early on in training camp, the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: As part of a crowded Patriots' wideout mix that also includes Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell and Josh Boyce, Thompkins has generally flown under the radar this offseason. However, with Dobson not practicing, Thompkins has a chance to see added reps at outside receiver in camp, and the early returns are solid, with the second-year wideout having drawn the praise of QB Tom Brady.
News: Gronkowski (knee) practiced Friday, but acknowledged that he wasn't at 100 percent, Shalise Young of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Gronkowski still didn't participate in any drills that involved a live defender, but his presence on the field for the second straight day is certainly encouraging. The 25-year-old hopes to return to Pro Bowl caliber form in 2014, and hopes to be cleared for 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills before the end of camp.
Greg Orton - #16 - Wide Receiver - 6'3" - 199lbs
News: Orton was carted off the field during Friday's practice, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Orton suffered the injury on a non-contact play, so this is definitely cause for concern. Any injury could severely hurt his chances of earning a roster spot as a reserve receiver with the Patriots.
Vince Wilfork - #75 - Defensive Tackle - 6'2" - 325lbs
News: Wilfork (Achilles) was a full participant in Thursday's first training camp practice, ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Wilfork practicing without limitation in Thursday's non-pads session represents a hurdle cleared in his return from last September's ruptured Achilles tendon. To his credit, the space-eating Wilfork reportedly looked slimmer than in recent seasons, which should reduce the stress on his lower body this season. While Wilfork's practice capacity will be monitored in the coming weeks, early indications appear promising.
News: Byham was added by the Patriots in advance of training camp, the team's official site reports.
Impact: Byham is a depth TE with limited pass-catching ability, plus he is bouncing back from a knee injury. He'll need to have a strong summer in order to crack the Patriots' final roster.
News: Gronkowski (knee) participated in Thursday's practice, the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: The report encouragingly notes that Gronkowski, who was sporting a knee brace, displayed some speed during individual position group drills. The tight end was, however, held out of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team drills. Still, his participation Thursday, in any capacity, is nonetheless a positive development.
Wed. July 23, 2014 | STATS
News: Gronkowski has been cleared to play at the New England Patriots training camp. Coach Bill Belichick says the star tight end has been cleared after offseason knee surgery. The Patriots hold their first public practice of camp on Thursday.
Impact: Gronkowski missed the last three regular-season games and both playoff games after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he was hit by Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward. Gronkowski underwent surgery in January. He also missed the first six games while recovering from forearm and back operations. He played just seven games last season and finished with 39 catches and four touchdowns.
Wed. July 23, 2014 | RotoWire
News: According to coach Bill Belichick, Gronkowski (knee) has been medically cleared to play, the Patriots' official site reports.
Impact: Gronkowski's recovery from the torn ACL and MCL that he suffered last Dec. 8 has evidently gone smoothly and he'll avoid placement on the Patriots' PUP list to start training camp. After working with the team's medical staff (as opposed to on-field activities) during the team's OTAs and mini-camp, we'd expect the Patriots to ease Gronkowski back into action as camp progresses, but in the absence of any setbacks, Wednesday's news puts the star tight end in line to be available for Week 1.
Dominique Easley - #74 - Defensive Tackle - 6'2" - 288lbs
Tue. July 22, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Easley (knee) has been placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list by the Patriots, the team's official site reports.
Impact: Easley, who is bouncing back from a torn ACL that he suffered last September, was able to take the field for the last day of the Patriots' June minicamp, but it appears at this stage as though the team will work the rookie defensive tackle into the team's defensive line mix in a gradual fashion.
Tue. July 22, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Though Gronkowski (knee) hasn't yet been placed on the Patriots' active/PUP list in advance of training camp, ESPN.com suggests that the designation could still be an option for the tight end before the team's first training camp practice Thursday.
Impact: On an encouraging note, Gronkowski -- who is bouncing back from a torn ACL and MCL -- indicated Friday that he plans to play the entire 2014 season. Either way, look for the star tight end to be eased back into action by the Patriots, with an eye toward having him as healthy as possible leading up to Week 1. While it's still too early to completely sign off on Gronkowski's participation in the team's regular-season opener, the signs remain promising on that front.
Aaron Dobson - #17 - Wide Receiver - 6'3" - 200lbs
Mon. July 21, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Dobson (foot) will open training camp on the PUP list, ESPN reports.
Impact: Dobson, who underwent surgery on Mar. 10, hoped to be ready for training camp but is taking his time in recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot. The team will continue to monitor his progress, though a return estimate hasn't been provided.
Alfonzo Dennard - #37 - Cornerback - 5'10" - 200lbs
Mon. July 21, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Dennard (shoulder) will open training camp on the PUP list, ESPN reports.
Impact: The cornerback is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and wasn't present at the Pats' OTAs. However, Dennard will likely return in time for Week 1 and figures to compete for a starting spot opposite Darrelle Revis.
Sun. July 20, 2014 | STATS
News: The New England Patriots have signed Byham.
Impact: The 26-year-old Byham spent the past two seasons with Tampa Bay after his first two seasons with San Francisco. Byham has 11 catches for 83 yards and one touchdown in 29 games since the 49ers drafted him out of Pittsburgh in the sixth round in 2010. Last season, he had three catches for 38 yards in four games with the Buccaneers.