FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots just wrapped up their 11th voluntary organized team activity OTA Thursday, and 77 of their 85 players participated in the soggy, chilly practice session that lasted an hour and 45 minutes.
Despite the weather conditions, wide receiver Wes Welker continued with his routine of practicing for a half-hour before retreating to the bubble for an hour and then heading into the Gillette Stadium locker room.
Quarterback Tom Brady was off for much of Thursday's session. After he was nearly flawless during the first two sessions open to the media, Brady had a tough time connecting during positional and 7-on-7 drills.
Seven players missed Thursday's practice, including rookie wide receiver Taylor Price, safety Brandon McGowan, rookie defensive lineman Kade Weston, left guard Logan Mankins, left tackle Matt Light, offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez and defensive lineman Ty Warren. Hernandez was in attendance for the session, but he watched from the sidelines.
Media have been permitted to cover three OTAs since the Patriots' full squad reported last week to Gillette, and Price, Weston, Mankins and Warren have missed each session. Price's senior class graduated Wednesday, so it's possible he was taking a physical or doing something else to catch up to speed.
It was the first time the media did not see Light at practice, and the second time McGowan, Hernandez and Kaczur missed time.
Second-year safety Patrick Chung, who recently had a cast removed from his left wrist, was still wearing a red, non-contact jersey.
Before Thursday's session, New England released defensive lineman Amon Gordon, who was signed April 21. The move drops the Patriots' roster number to 77 signed players. Their eight unsigned draft picks do not count against the 80-player limit.
The Patriots will hold their 12th and final OTA on Friday. Mandatory minicamp runs from Tuesday to Thursday before the team breaks for a month and a half.