The New England Patriots' beleaguered secondary took another hit Saturday when the team had to place safety Brandon McGowan on season-ending injured reserve.
season previews. More ...
But help is on the way.
McGowan, who started 11 games last season, has a chest injury. Earlier in the week, New England lost starting cornerback Leigh Bodden for the season because of a shoulder injury.
There had been speculation that Burgess, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Patriots in May, might retire, but he didn't mention that after his first practice this summer.
"I had to take care of my family business before I could report," Burgess said, but he admitted he was "a little rusty" in his first practice with the team.
Aiken spent the past two seasons with New England after five with the Buffalo Bills. He had a career-high 20 receptions last season, giving him 47.
The Patriots released two other veteran defensive players, linebackers Eric Alexander, primarily a special-teamer during his six years with New England, and Pierre Woods, who started eight games in four seasons with the team.
Also released were quarterback Zac Robinson; running backs Thomas Clayton and Chris Taylor; wide receivers Buddy Farnham, Darnell Jenkins and Rod Owens; tight ends Carson Butler and Rob Myers; offensive linemen George Bussey, Ted Larsen, Rich Ohrnberger and Thomas Welch; linebacker Thomas Williams; safety Sergio Brown; cornerback DeAngelo Willingham and defensive back Ross Ventrone.
Among those released were five players taken in the past two drafts -- 2009 picks Ohrnberger (fourth round) and Bussey (fifth) and 2010 choices Larsen (sixth), Welch (seventh) and Robinson (seventh).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.