Special teams could take hit

December, 3, 2009
12/03/09
5:09
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots' special-teams units could take a hit this week as safety Bret Lockett missed practice Thursday because of a groin injury.

Lockett is a core special-teams player, playing on the punt return, punt coverage, kickoff return, and kickoff coverage units. He is a gunner on the punt coverage team, lining up wide and often the first player down the field.

Elsewhere on the injury front, veteran running back Fred Taylor (ankle) remained out of practice Thursday while 16 players -- a group including rookie left tackle Sebastian Vollmer (head) -- were limited. Safety Pat Chung (head) was removed from the injury report.

On the Dolphins side, starting center Jake Grove missed his second day of practice with an ankle injury. Grove was signed this offseason, in part, to square off against Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork. So his availability is an important development to follow.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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