Darius Butler Absent From Gillette Stadium Practice, While Stevan Ridley Dons New No. 22

Darius Butler Absent From Gillette Stadium Practice, While Stevan Ridley Dons New No. 22 FOXBORO, Mass. — Cornerback Darius Butler was a surprising absentee from the Patriots’ practice Wednesday night inside Gillette Stadium.

The team was in shorts and shells for the annual session that was held for season-ticket holders and Foxboro residents. Patriots president Jonathan Kraft addressed the crowd over the public address system midway through the practice, and Tom Brady led a large majority of players who signed autographs afterward.

The practice spanned about two and a half hours, and it was held at a relatively light pace compared to the last two full-pads practices. The Patriots will hold one practice Thursday afternoon, but the time wasn’t officially set as of the conclusion of Wednesday’s practice.

Offensive lineman Ryan Wendell also missed his second consecutive practice for unknown reasons, and rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling watched practice after making his debut Sunday.

Running back Eric Kettani, safety Josh Barrett, defensive lineman Myron Pryor, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, defensive end Alex Silvestro, defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, offensive lineman Kyle Hix and defensive lineman Ron Brace were also missing. Long snapper Matt Katula was present but is still not practicing due to injury.

Cornerback Kyle Arrington, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, running back Kevin Faulk, running back Sammy Morris, safety Brandon McGowan, left guard Logan Mankins, left tackle Matt Light, linebacker Tracy White and defensive lineman Steve Williams will be eligible to begin practicing Thursday.

Safety James Sanders couldn’t participate in the entire practice due to the injury that he has been recovering from.

Running back Stevan Ridley changed numbers, switching from No. 37 to No. 22.

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