Patriots practice 9 observations

August, 3, 2011
8/03/11
9:24
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Observations from Wednesday evening's practice, the Patriots' ninth of training camp, which was held in shorts and shells and inside Gillette Stadium for season ticket holders (attendance 18,334, a five-year high):

Dowling not in uniform. Rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling, who signed on Tuesday and was a full participant in Tuesday's practice, was out of uniform for Wednesday evening's practice, shadowing defensive backs in shorts and a t-shirt. Also not spotted on Wednesday night was fellow cornerback Darius Butler, who practiced and spoke to reporters following Tuesday's session

Wendell remains out. Guard/center Ryan Wendell was not spotted at practice for a second straight day. His health status is unclear. The Patriots signed two veteran interior offensive linemen on Wednesday -- Chris Morris and Jonathan Compas -- and both were in uniform on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, running back Eric Kettani continued to remain out of action, as did safety Josh Barrett and offensive lineman Kyle Hix. Undrafted rookie defensive end Alex Silvestro missed his first practice of camp. Long snapper Matt Katula remains out of uniform but took in practice in shorts and a t-shirt.

Active/PUP defensive linemen Myron Pryor, Brandon Deaderick, and Ron Brace remained out of action, as did offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (active/NFI). Linebacker Tracy White, who cannot practice until Thursday or the start of the 2011 NFL League Year, took in the practice in shorts and a t-shirt, while offensive lineman Matt Light and running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who also fall into that category, spoke to reporters before practice. Other players not able to practice until Thursday, and not spotted at practice were running backs Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk, offensive lineman Logan Mankins, defensive lineman Steve Williams, cornerback Kyle Arrington, and safety Brandon McGowan. First-round draft selection Nate Solder remains unsigned and out of practice.

Situational football in focus. Wednesday night's practice saw the progression of training camp move along, as the team added some situational work, including two-minute and red zone scenarios. One hurry-up situation saw the Patriots' top unit on offense advance the ball steadily, while another unit led by quarterback Ryan Mallett was unable to advance, ending the drive on an incompletion to wide receiver Matthew Slater on a deep route.

Kraft gives speech. Patriots president Jonathan Kraft spoke to the season ticket holders in attendance at the practice, praising his father, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and his efforts to "bring the sides together" on the labor negotiations that ended the NFL lockout.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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