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Alfonzo Dennard (knee) out for Patriots in Week 12

  • By Kevin Patra & Marc Sessler
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The New England Patriots will be without a key piece of their secondary when they face the explosive Denver Broncos on Sunday night.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that cornerback Alfonzo Dennard underwent a small meniscus procedure over the weekend and will miss a few weeks, according to a pair of sources informed of his medical situation.

Dennard also missed Monday night's slugfest against the Carolina Panthers due to the injury. Despite the setback, the second-year defender practiced Wednesday, per NESN's Doug Kyed, but we aren't taking that as any indication Dennard is about to suit up.

Losing Dennard is a big blow to for the injury-ravaged Patriots. Cornerback Aqib Talib left Monday's game after aggravating a hip injury and defensive back Kyle Arrington was in and out Monday night with a groin injury. In a bit of good news, safety Steve Gregory made a surprise return to Wednesday's practice, per Kyed. We'll keep an eye on that.

Here's the rest of the day's big injury news:

1. NFL Media's Steve Cyphers reported that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was not stretching with teammates during the portion of Wednesday's practice open to the media. The Denver Post reported that Manning did take part in the team walkthrough. Manning has sat out several Wednesday practices this season, likely in an effort to take stress off his ailing ankles.

2. Also for Denver, receiver Wes Welker (concussion) and tight end Julius Thomas (knee) were also held out of practice, according to multiple sources.

3. The Ravens announced that tight end Dennis Pitta will practice for the first time Wednesday since undergoing August surgery to repair a dislocated hip. His return -- and it's unclear when that will happen -- to the field would represent a major boost for Joe Flacco and Baltimore's flat air attack.

4. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has swapped a hard cast for a brace on his injured ankle, the team announced. However, he remains week to week.

5. The Browns signed Armanti Edwards last month to fill the void on special teams left by punt returner Travis Benjamin. It hasn't worked out as planned. Cleveland on Wednesday shipped Edwards to injured reserve with a tweaked ankle, just weeks after Benjamin landed on IR with a torn ACL.

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6. The Tennessean reported that Titans receiver Justin Hunter practiced Wednesday after being cleared from the concussion he suffered in Thursday night's loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Tennessee travels to Oakland to play the Raiders on Sunday.

7. DJ Hayden's star-crossed rookie campaign is over. The Oakland Raiders announced Wednesday that the team's first-round draft pick has been placed on injured reserve with the nagging groin injury he suffered in practice prior to Week 10.

8. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is listed as questionable for Thursday night's tilt against the Falcons with foot and elbow injuries, but we fully expect the Pro Bowl pass-catcher to play against Atlanta. Also for New Orleans, running back Darren Sproles (ankle, knee) didn't practice and looms as questionable for the NFC South showdown.

9. Mike Shanahan announced that Redskins receiver Leonard Hankerson will miss the rest of the year with a torn lateral collateral ligament in his left knee, according to The Washington Post. Meanwhile, dynamic tight end Jordan Reed (concussion) and defensive back Josh Wilson (toe) didn't practice Wednesday.

We recapped every Week 11 game on the latest "Around The League Podcast."

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