New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski was not spotted at the start of the Patriots’ walkthrough practice on Tuesday at the lower field outside Gillette Stadium. Also absent from the media availability portion of practice were cornerback Eric Rowe (groin) and tackle LaAdrian Waddle (unknown).

Receiver Julian Edelman, however, was present at the start of practice. He’s officially back from his suspension and seemingly ready for his regular workload. But based on Bill Belichick’s comments during his Tuesday conference call, it could be a question mark as to how much Edelman plays on Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts.

“I mean, we didn’t practice yesterday, so we’ll get moving on some things today in terms of the game plan and trying to get as far along on Indianapolis as we can,” said Belichick. “So, obviously, it’s going to be a crammed course, and so we’ll just see how it all comes together. I don’t know. [Edelman] hasn’t been here in a month and it’s a short week. We’ll just have to see how things work out.”

Tom Brady sang a bit of a different tune.

“Well, I think we’ve played so much football together,” said Brady on Monday. “I really have no doubt where he’s going to be at, what he’s capable of. He’s been a great player for our team. I think everyone’s excited to have him back, and anytime you add great players, it’s going to help what we’re doing. We all welcome him back and he’s excited, ready to go and hopefully he can go out and play great.”

It would be surprising if Edelman wasn’t active on Thursday night, but Belichick didn’t exactly sound like a coach who’s ready to throw Edelman in there for 100 percent of the snaps right away. It could also depend on Gronkowski, who’s reportedly dealing with a minor ankle injury.

Official injury report comes out Tuesday afternoon.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.