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Patriots stars missing in opener

Though he was in full uniform, Tom Brady was a spectator/cheerleader for the night. (AP Photo/Connor Radnovich)

AP/Connor Radnovich

Though he was in full uniform, Tom Brady was a spectator/cheerleader for the night.

LANDOVER, Md. – Tom Brady wasn’t the only Patriots starter to get the night off against the Redskins Thursday.

Though he was in full uniform, Brady was a spectator/cheerleader for Ryan Mallett, who started at quarterback.

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Also in uniform but not on the field were Logan Mankins, Julian Edelman, Jerod Mayo, Chandler Jones, Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, and Dont’a Hightower.

Almost more notable were the players who did play, particularly on defense: Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, and Brandon Browner are the only projected starters who did play. All three had their seasons cut short last year — Wilfork by a torn Achilles’, Kelly by a torn ACL, and Browner by a groin injury and a suspension.

“I was happy — overjoyed,” Kelly said of getting to play. “I was probably a little too worked up. I was just anxious to go. I love football; when it was taken away from me, it hurt.”

Kelly acknowledged he’s not yet in game shape.

“I think I have to work on it, but that’s what these games are for,’’ he said. “I don’t see myself getting this gassed next week against Philly.”

Matthew Slater, Alfonzo Dennard, and Jake Bequette, who took part in the joint practices with Washington this week, were on the sideline but not in uniform; Bequette was spotted working on a side field with assistant strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera on Tuesday, and Slater and Dennard both started camp on the physically unable to perform list, though each came off of it at least a week ago.

Sealver Siliga and D.J. Williams, each hurt during the week, were not spotted.

Receivers sit out

Washington was without its top two wideouts, DeSean Jackson (left ankle) and Pierre Garcon (hamstring) because of injuries.

Jackson was cleated during Wednesday’s walkthrough practice and twisted his ankle.

Though Gruden had said Jackson was 50-50 to play, it made sense not to take any chances with the dynamic receiver, who was signed in April after the Eagles released him.

Before the game, Jackson, Garcon, and safety Ryan Clark had some fun with fans in the stands, playing catch with a few who had filed into FedExField early.

Jones hurts ankle

Patriots second-year defensive tackle Chris Jones injured his ankle late in the first half and did not return. That’s another blow to the depth chart after losing Siliga earlier in the week with a hand injury . . . There were a whopping 19 accepted penalties in the game, 10 for Washington and nine for New England . . . Thursday night was the 21st time the squads have faced off in the preseason, putting Washington in a tie with Philadelphia for New England’s second-most frequent preseason opponent behind the Giants (23 meetings). The Patriots will close out their exhibition slate with the Giants for the 10th straight year when the teams meet Aug. 28 . . . The Patriots will not return to the practice field until Monday (time TBA), then will hold joint practices with the Eagles at 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Shalise Manza Young can be reached at syoung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung.
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