Mayo a surprise return to practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo returned to practice on Friday, less than two weeks after suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee in a game in Oakland on Oct. 2. Initial reports suggested Mayo would miss 4-6 weeks.

While Mayo's unexpected presence at practice is a positive note in his recovery, his status for Sunday's game against the Cowboys remains highly in doubt, after having missed two practices this week. In all likelihood, the team will hold him out of action on Sunday, leading to a probable return following the Patriots' bye week.

In addition to Mayo returning, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), who missed Thursday's practice, returned to the practice fields for Friday's session, which was held in light shoulder pads and in drizzly conditions. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who dealt with a personal matter on Thursday, returned to practice, and said earlier on Friday that he is "ready to play" on Sunday.

The lone Patriots absent from Friday's practice were safety Josh Barrett (hamstring) and cornerback Phillip Adams, who was not listed on the Thursday's injury report. There was a new defensive lineman practicing with the team wearing number 90, so Adams' absence could be a sign that he was involved in a 53-man roster move.