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Taylor at practice for 1st time since injury

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots running back Fred Taylor was present at practice for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right ankle Oct. 8, a sign that he is closer to returning to action.

Taylor, who hurt the ankle on his final fourth-quarter carry against the Ravens on Oct. 4, has missed the team's last seven games. Figuring there was a chance he could return late in the season, the Patriots held his roster spot instead of placing him on season-ending injured reserve.

Taylor is still unlikely to play this Sunday in Miami, as it is commonplace for injured players to return on a Friday with the following week's game in mind.

Thus, barring a setback, the Dec. 13 home game against Carolina seems like a more likely date for his possible return.

EXTRA POINT: Safety Bret Lockett was the only player on the 53-man active roster not present at today's practice.