FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Rookie outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, whose presence becomes more important following the release of Derrick Burgess, remains sidelined from practice.
While teammates went through a full-pads workout Monday afternoon, Cunningham was dressed in shorts and held out of the session. He has been sidelined since Aug. 11 after getting tangled up with a Saints player during a punt return drill in joint practices.
If Cunningham is not recovered in time for Sunday's season opener, that leaves four-year veteran Marques Murrell and five-year veteran Rob Ninkovich as the candidates to start on the left side, opposite of Tully Banta-Cain.
Other players who weren't in full pads for Monday's practice were receiver Julian Edelman (shorts), cornerback Terrence Wheatley (not spotted), cornerback Kyle Arrington (shorts), running back Laurence Maroney (shorts), offensive lineman Nick Kaczur (not spotted) and defensive lineman Ron Brace (shorts). Also, offensive lineman Quinn Ojinnaka was not spotted as he is suspended for the first week of the season.
Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was sidelined for the final two preseason games, was on the field and in full pads for the workout.
Media members were present for stretching and one set of agility drills.