FOXBORO — The Patriots got some good news Thursday when rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley (knee) returned to practice after missing the first two practices of the week.

FOXBORO — Dominique Easley returned to Patriots practice on Thursday inside the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse, according to reports. Easley had missed Tuesday and Wednesday’s practices due to a knee issue. His return Thursday is a good sign that he could be ready to suit up when the Patriots take on the Colts Sunday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick won’t admit it. Tom Brady will just smile in gratitude. And Rob Gronkowski certainly won’t acknowledge it.

With Stevan Ridley sidelined, Shane Vereen has emerged as a leader of the Patriots running game.</p>
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FOXBORO — The first Patriots injury report of the week was released following Wednesday’s practice and it came with no major surprises.

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FOXBORO — This week would not be a good time for the Patriots to take their foot off the gas of their high-powered offense.

FOXBORO — With Sunday’s Patriots-Colts game being played indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Patriots moved practice to inside the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse at Gillette Stadium Wednesday afternoon to help prepare themselves for the conditions they will face Sunday night.

FOXBORO — Tom Brady can’t wait to see his last two back-ups square off against each other.

 Rob Ninkovich reacts with Logan Ryan (left) and Akeem Ayers after recovering a fumble for a touchdown against the Bears last month.</p>
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FOXBORO — Brandon LaFell, Dominique Easley and Chandler Jones were all not spotted at the start of Patriots practice Tuesday afternoon held on the grass fields behind Gillette Stadium in advance of Sunday’s game against the Colts. The practice was held in shorts and shells.