Patriots DT Christian Barmore returns, while 4 players absent at Wednesday’s practice

The defensive front for the New England Patriots got a huge boost on Wednesday with Christian Barmore returning to practice.

It makes a world of difference when Barmore is spearheading the defensive attack, particularly when the Patriots are slated to be running into the Indianapolis Colts and all-world running back Jonathan Taylor on Sunday.

Granted, Barmore did return in a limited fashion. So there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready to suit up for the Colts. But his mere presence must have been a welcome sight for a Patriots team needing all hands on deck in the second stretch of the season.

Although Barmore returned, the team was still missing four key players for practice, including Damien Harris, Devin McCourty, David Andrews and DeVante Parker.

Andrews is still out after suffering a concussion from the ugly blindside hit he took against the Chicago Bears in Week 7. Meanwhile, Harris is dealing with an illness, and Parker is still working his way back from a knee sprain.

McCourty’s absence was simply a rest day for the 35-year-old veteran safety. You don’t see many of those for a Belichick-coached team, but it’s safe to say McCourty, who came away with two interceptions against the New York Jets, earned the extra day off.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire