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McDonald returns to practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Offensive lineman Nick McDonald returned to practice on Thursday, the Patriots' fourth session of the week.

McDonald had not practiced since injuring his shoulder in an Aug. 24 preseason game in Tampa. His return on Thursday likely indicates that he could be ready to play if needed on Sunday in Tennessee.

Meanwhile, running back Shane Vereen remained out of practice, and has not been on the field since leaving the Tampa preseason game with a foot injury.

The Patriots were in light shoulder pads (shells) after practicing in full pads on Wednesday.