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Rob Gronkowski does not participate in Patriots practice

Rob Gronkowski has been dealing with back and ankle injuries.john tlumacki/globe staff

FOXBOROUGH — Rob Gronkowski was a surprise absence from Patriots practice Thursday a day after the tight end said his confidence level was “good.’’

Gronkowski, who played Monday night after being limited all last week in practice, has been dealing with back and ankle injuries over the last few weeks.

Starting right guard Shaq Mason, who suffered a calf injury in Monday’s win over the Bills, linebacker Nicholas Grigsby, and offensive lineman Brian Schwenke, who is nursing a foot injury, also were absent from the full-pads session.

Receiver Julian Edelman (illness/ankle), defensive end Deatrich Wise (illness), and tight end Jacob Hollister (hamstring) all returned to the field after missing Wednesday’s walkthrough.


Running back Sony Michel (knee), linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee), and tackle Marcus Cannon (concussion) practiced for the second straight day after missing Monday’s game.

Jim McBride can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.