FOXBORO, Mass. — Good news for the New England Patriots: Cornerback Stephon Gilmore returned to the practice field Wednesday after missing two games and a week of practice.

The bad news? Several other key players were absent from the rain-soaked session as New England continued its preparation for this Sunday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Linebacker Dont’a Hightower, cornerback Eric Rowe, defensive tackle Malcom Brown and wide receiver Danny Amendola all were missing from practice.

Rowe has missed the last three games with a groin injury, and Hightower and Brown left Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons with shoulder and ankle injuries, respectively. The reason for Amendola’s absence was unclear.

Gilmore had been sidelined with a concussion and an ankle injury, according to the Patriots.

An as-of-yet-unidentified defensive tackle wearing No. 96 joined the Patriots at practice. All 10 practice-squad players were present and accounted for, as well, meaning the team must have made a change to its 53-man roster.

The Patriots could have opened a roster spot by placing linebacker Harvey Langi, who has not practiced since being involved in a serious car accident Oct. 13, on the non-football injury list.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images