Spikes back: Starting middle linebacker Brandon Spikes, who has been coming back from an off-season knee scope, took part in team drills for the first time and went right back to his usual spot. Spikes look good, if a little cautious.

Linebacker trio together: With Spikes back on the field, the expected starting linebackers were on the field together for the first time: Spikes, Pro Bowler Jerod Mayo and first-round pick Dont'a Hightower. It's a physically imposing group that has the potential to be one of the top units in the league.

Cannon's struggles continue: OT Marcus Cannon was a terrific story last season when he came back from cancer treatment to help the Patriots on the road to the Super Bowl. With starting RT Sebastian Vollmer on the sidelines after back surgery, that spot has been left to Cannon. He has had a tough time so far, and that continued when he was dominated by DE Jermaine Cunningham in one-on-ones. Cannon is receiving a lot of instruction from OL coach Dante Scarnecchia.

Bolden fumbles: Undrafted RB Brandon Bolden has been one of the surprises in camp but he didn't help himself when he became the first RB to fumble in training camp. That got him a penalty lap.

Banks here: Former Giants LB Carl Banks, a member of the NFL's all-decade team of the 1980s, was at practice. He was coached by Bill Belichick in New York.

Follow the Patriots and Greg Bedard on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLNE and @GregABedard.