FOXBOROUGH — All hands might just be on deck Sunday.
Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett attended practice Thursday, leaving open the possibility both receivers will be good to go when the Cowboys visit Gillette Stadium.
Sanu (ankle) and Dorsett (concussion) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice (though Dorsett was present) after being hurt in the physical 17-10 win over the Eagles last Sunday.
Officially Sanu was listed as a DNP at the session, but he did go through the stretching portion and did not display any noticeable limp or appear to be limited in any way.
The workout was held in shells and sweats, though Dorsett shed his mini shoulder pad “shells” during stretching. Sanu did not participate in individual positional drills during the window of practice open to the media. Dorsett, who was listed as limited, did take reps during those drills.
Sanu has been an exceptional durable player during his career, playing in at least 15 games in each of the last six seasons. He’s played in all 10 games this year.
The Patriots receiving corps has taken a number of hits this season. In addition to Sanu and Dorsett, Julian Edelman has dealt with chest and shoulder injuries — the latter keeping him limited Thursday, as well.
N’Keal Harry didn’t make his debut until last Sunday after an eight-week stint on injured reserve with leg ailments and fellow rookie Gunner Olszewski was put on IR this week with hamstring and ankle woes.
Michael Bennett has collected three sacks in three games since being traded to the Cowboys less than a month ago.
“We’ve played against him a lot through the years and he was always a difficult guy to block, both in the run game and in pass protection,’’ said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
“I was around him a little bit in the Pro Bowl a couple times, and he’s really transitioned very smoothly into our team. A really well-respected guy, well-respected player, and [he’s] trying to understand how we’re asking him to do things and he’s done a really nice job for us.’’
Sunday is poised to be Bennett’s fourth game on Dallas’s 53-man roster, meaning New England will receive a sixth-round pick in exchange.
Bennett told reporters he’s not out for revenge against his former teammates because “it’s never personal in the NFL.’’
The 11-year veteran called Patriots coach Bill Belichick a “savant” and a “great motivator.”
Bennett appears to be a good fit in Dallas’s traditional 4-3 defense, a scheme in which he’s thrived most of his career being a terror off the edge. “I learned a lot of football in New England,’’ he said. “I think at the same time as a player you go into the situation and you think you know football, then you meet somebody who’s above you [like Belichick] and knows everything about the game. For me, I learned a lot about football in that situation, learning how to execute at a high level, learning what it takes to develop players. I learned what it feels like to break down a game plan from a different perspective, and I think it was good for me as a player. If I ever want to be a coach, it would be a good situation to take into that.’’
Belichick said he thinks Bennett has “given the Cowboys what they wanted from him, some inside pass-rush production on third down in passing situations.’’
Vander Esch out
Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will miss Sunday’s game against the Patriots with a neck injury, according to multiple media reports . . . The Patriots signed defensive end Tashawn Brown to the practice squad. Originally signed by the Vikings as an undrafted rookie from LSU in 2017, the 6-foot-5-inch, 250-pounder played in seven games with Minnesota over two seasons. He began this season on the non-football injury list but was released in mid-October . . . Special teamer Matthew Slater and punter Jake Bailey lead their respective positions in Pro Bowl voting . . . In addition to Dorsett and Edelman, the following players also were listed as limited: safety Patrick Chung (heel/chest), special teamer Nate Ebner (ankle/back), defensive end John Simon (elbow), linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (knee), and running back Damien Harris (hamstring) . . . For the Cowboys, right tackle La’el Collins (knee/back), linebacker Joe Thomas (illness), and safety Donovan Wilson (illness) did not practice.
Jim McBride can be reached at email@example.com.