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Hightower, Rowe, Slater Hit Practice Field For Patriots

BOSTON (CBS) -- Several injured Patriots were limited participants at Wednesday's practice, a sign they may be able to suit up in Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

Linebacker Dont'a Hightower, cornerback Eric Rowe, tackle Marcus Cannon and special teams captain Matthew Slater were all limited at New England's practice behind Gillette Stadium.

Hightower has missed the last two games with a knee injury he suffered in the season opener. The Patriots defense could certainly use the linebacker clogging up the middle of the field, as they rank last in the NFL in yards allowed (461) and points (31.7) per game over the first three weeks.

Rowe got the start over Malcolm Butler in Week 2, but suffered a groin injury in the New England win and had to sit out their Week 3 victory over the Houston Texans.

Cannon missed last Sunday's win with an ankle injury and concussion symptoms.

Slater has yet to play this season due to a lingering hamstring injury he suffered in training camp.

Also limited on Wednesday were receivers Danny Amendola (knee) and Phillip Dorsett (knee), safety/special teamer Nate Ebner (shoulder) and cornerback Stephon Gilmore (groin).

Running back Rex Burkhead was the only player missing from Wednesday's practice as he recovers from a rib injury that sidelined him for Week 3's win.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski was taken off the injury report on Wednesday after being listed all of last week with a groin injury.

For the Panthers, quarterback Cam Newton (shoulder) and receiver Curtis Samuel (back) were limited. Receiver Kelvin Benjamin (knee) was one of seven players who did not practice on Wednesday.


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