"Getting Phillip Merling back today was really good," Sparano said. "I was kind of kidding those guys today. I said, 'Well the boys are back in town.' We finally got that group together that we've seen in OTAs (organized team activities).
"He (Merling) was excited today and bouncing around with a lot of energy out there," Sparano added. "We got to take it one step at a time there, too. (You know) again, to see how he looks tomorrow when he comes in the door here, and if he feels good, give him a little bit more to chew on tomorrow. We'll see."
Linebacker Karlos Dansby, who was limited in Sunday's victory at Oakland because of a wrist injury, also was a limited participant in practice. Linebacker Channing Crowder rode a bicycle on the side at the start of practice. The nature of his injury was undisclosed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.