FOXBORO, Mass. — Devin McCourty’s return to New England Patriots practice was overshadowed by three conspicuous absences.

Quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski and center Bryan Stork weren’t spotted at the beginning of Friday’s Patriots practice. Linebackers Jonathan Freeny (hand) and Eric Martin (illness) also were absent.

Brady didn’t practice “because he was sick,” a team source told The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride. It’s unclear what kept Gronkowski and Stork out of practice.

McCourty returned after missing two practices with an ankle injury.

Martin, linebacker Jamie Collins, offensive lineman Ryan Wendell and defensive lineman Rufus Johnson all have missed time this season with illnesses. Johnson was placed on the non-football illness list. Wendell is on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury. Martin missed practice Thursday and Friday this week.

Brady’s availability for Sunday’s game with the Tennessee Titans will be updated Friday at 4 p.m. when the injury report is released.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports