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Patriots injuries: Rob Gronkowski not at practice

Rob Gronkowski was one of three players not present at the New England Patriots walkthrough practice on Wednesday.

David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Despite reports that tight end Rob Gronkowski would return to practice this week, he was not at the New England Patriots walkthrough on Wednesday. Gronkowski has been out since breaking his forearm in the fourth quarter of the Patriots Nov. 19 victory over the Colts.

Also missing on Wednesday were linebacker Brandon Spikes and defensive tackle Kyle Love. Love's absence may be related to the expected birth of his child. Spikes has been dealing with knee and ankle issues recently. Not attending the walkthrough does not mean that any of those players will be unavailable for practices later this week.

Cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard were both at the walkthrough after being forced out of Monday's game against the Texans with injuries. Newly re-acquired wide receiver Deion Branch was also at the practice.

The New England Patriots take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. ET.