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Sunday, August 4, 2013
Bumps & bruises start to add up

By Field Yates

One of the unfortunate realities of the first couple of weeks of NFL training camps has been a slew of season-ending injuries to both starters and depth-level players around the league.

Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta are among the more notable players who will miss all of 2013, and their teams will be forced to account for their absences on short notice.

The Patriots have been fortunate to avoid any major injuries to key players thus far, though Saturday was a reminder that dings and bruises are a natural part of training camp.

Not counting players who entered training camp with injury issues they were dealing with (e.g. tight end Rob Gronkowski and guard Dan Connolly), a handful of Patriots were either limited or sat out Saturday's scrimmage-like practice.

The list included offensive linemen Marcus Cannon, Kevin Haslam and Tyronne Green (limited), defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, cornerbacks Ras-I Dowling and Alfonzo Dennard (limited) and wide receiver Michael Jenkins. Wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei and offensive lineman Elvis Fisher (limited) were released on Saturday, both with the waived/injured designation.

In addition, running back Brandon Bolden was limited, while tight end Jake Ballard missed the practice entirely; they were dealing with ankle and knee issues, respectively, entering training camp, though Ballard has been on the field consistently, while Bolden recently returned after sitting out a practice.

The Patriots worked hard this past week, spending five sessions out of six in full pads, gearing up for their preseason opener this Friday.

Wear and tear is an inevitable result of training camp, and the team, like every other, is managing injuries and ailments as the days go by. The team isn't obligated to provide much information on injuries at this time of the season, but we'll pass along any information we receive on those players who are currently working through issues.