FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ injury situation improved Thursday.

Defensive end Rob Ninkovich (leg) and linebacker Jonathan Freeny (hand) were back on the Patriots’ practice field before the team departed for South Florida for its Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins. Freeny and safety Patrick Chung (foot) were wearing red non-contact jerseys.

Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee), who wasn’t spotted at the beginning of practice Wednesday but was listed as limited on the Patriots’ injury report, was on the field, too. Cornerback Justin Coleman and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer were the only absences at Thursday’s practice.

Ninkovich missed Wednesday’s practice. He has played 101 consecutive regular-season games and 112 in a row including playoffs.

Freeny hasn’t been back on the field since injuring his hand in a Week 14 game against the Houston Texans.

Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports