Dont'a Hightower, Danny Amendola return to practice

The once-banged-up Patriots are getting healthy in a hurry.

Wednesday's practice saw some key players. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and wideout Danny Amendola (concussion/knee) were limited in their return to practice. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (groin) did not practice, but was on the practice field during the session.

Gronkowski left Sunday's romp over the Saints with a groin injury after frying New Orleans for 116 yards and a touchdown on six catches. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the setback was "not believed to be serious."

Cornerback Eric Rowe (groin) and receiver Phillip Dorsett (knee) also were limited, but running back Rex Burkhead, nursing a rib injury, was nowhere to be seen.

The Patriots aren't the same team without Gronkowski, but Hightower's status was also a concern after he missed Week 2. If New England has a depth issue anywhere, it's the lack of pass rushers.

Signs point to these pivotal players suiting up Sunday, a very bad bit of news for the Houston Texans.

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