COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A surprise player was back on the practice field at the scenic United States Air Force Academy on Wednesday afternoon.

Defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who’s nursing an ankle injury, took the trip to Colorado Springs and returned to practice Wednesday.

Brown last played in the Patriots’ Week 7 win over the Atlanta Falcons. He missed the Patriots’ Week 8 win over the Los Angeles Chargers and their Week 10 win over the Denver Broncos. The Patriots had a bye week between those games.

Three players were absent from practice: wide receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder), offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) and wide receiver Matthew Slater (hamstring).

Hogan and Cannon both missed Week 10. Slater injured his hamstring against the Broncos.

The Patriots’ full practice squad, plus offensive tackle Andrew Jelks, who’s on the non-football injury list, made the trip and practiced.

Thumbnail photo via Ben Volin/The Boston Globe