FOXBORO -- With the return of Dan Connolly on Thursday, the Patriots had perfect attendance at practice for the first time this season, as New England continued preparing for its home opener Sunday against the Cardinals. Here's the complete injury report:

Limited participation

G Dan Connolly (head)

CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring)

TE Daniel Fells (shin)

OL Nick McDonald (shoulder)

CB Sterling Moore (knee)

RB Shane Vereen (foot)

According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cardinals plan to start quarterback Kevin Kolb on Sunday against the Patriots.

Kolb will get the start over John Skelton, who suffered an ankle sprain in Arizona's 20-16 victory over the Seahawks in Week 1. Sunday will mark Kolb's first start since Dec. 11 of last season, as the former second-round pick missed eight games due to various injuries last season.

FOXBORO -- Offensive lineman Dan Connolly returned Thursday to Patriots practice as the team held full pads practice with perfect attendance. Connolly, who has a history of concussion-related injuries, suffered a head injury while blocking as a fullback on Stevan Ridley's 1-yard touchdown run on Sunday. 

With Connolly back, all 53 players on the roster were present for the first time this season. 


FOXBORO -- They’ve picked up where they left off.



FOXBORO -- Running back Shane Vereen (foot) was back at practice on Wednesday, but offensive lineman Dan Connolly (head) was held out of practice completely as the Patriots continued preparing for their home opener against the Cardinals. Here's the complete injury report:

 

Did Not Practice

OL Dan Connolly (head)

 

Limited Participation

CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring)

TE Daniel Fells (shin)

FOXBORO -- Patriots running back Shane Vereen returned to practice on Wednesday but offensive lineman Dan Connolly was missing on the grass fields outside Gillette Stadium as the team practiced in shorts and shells.

Vereen had missed the last two weeks with a foot injury sustained in the Aug. 24 preseason game at Tampa Bay. 

FOXBORO -- In classic fashion, Bill Belichick immediately seized the opportunity Wednesday to bring some humility to his trio of rookies who impressed during New England's 34-13 win over the Titans on Sunday.

Belichick was asked if he might need to remind Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower and Tavon Wilson that they've played just one game. Before the question went any further, the Patriots coach interceded.

"Are you kidding me? They've played one game," Belichick said in a wry tone.

Sunday's Patriots-Titans game was the highest-rated daytime season-opener in franchise history, the team announced Wednesday. The household rating in the Boston market was 33.5, meaning about 800,000 fans locally viewed the 34-13 victory over the Titans. Approximately 60 percent of televisions in the area were tuned to the local CBS affiliate, WBZ-TV, from 1-4 p.m.

The only two openers to rate higher were Monday night games: 2011 vs. the Dolphins (37.1) and 2009 vs. the Bills (35.1).

FOXBORO -- In a clear effort to diffuse any controversy about the lack of production from Wes Welker on Sunday, Tom Brady said Wednesday that it's important to keep things in perspective. Welker was targeted just five times in 31 pass attempts, catching three passes for 14 yards. 

I'm all for conspiracy theories. 

I mean it, I can't get enough of them. You think the CIA killed JFK? LBJ was involved? The Mafia? Castro? Maybe you've got J. Edgar Hoover pulling the strings. If you've got a semi-plausible motive, a couple of decent twists and genuine enthusiasm I'm usually all in.



KIRK MINIHANE

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