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FSU practice report: Key players back early

News, notes, and observations from the day's Florida State practice.

Terrance Smith and Mario Pender.
Terrance Smith and Mario Pender.
David Visser

For the first time since 2012, the 'Noles resumed the practice field after a conference loss. Here's what we noticed about the Seminoles, who worked out in shells in preparation for Syracuse. A Houston Texans scout took in the action.

Injured/Absent

As has been customary since initially injuring his left hamstring at Wake Forest, Dalvin Cook again took Monday off. What remains to be seen is if FSU will rest him throughout the week and against Syracuse this Saturday in advance of Florida State's road contest against Clemson the following week. Offensive lineman Cole Minshew did not participate after suffering yet another concussion in practice last week, and Kareem Are sat out, too, as each rode a stationary bike. Fisher expects Are back tomorrow. And we didn't see Derrick Kelly, while Bobo Wilson was on the rowing machine, but then ran over to join the receivers later-- though he again looked limited.

Offense

The surprise return of the day was the return of running back Mario Pender, who led running back drills and looked good. And, also rather shocking, Auden Tate practiced in a limited role after cracking a big toe. Jeremy Kerr returned in a non-contact jersey.

The starters up front were juggled a bit, in accordance with the aforementioned Are and Kelly news. Left-to-right, the first-team OL went Rod Johnson, Chad Mavety, Ryan Hoefeld, Wilson Bell, and Brock Ruble. The twos are now Ethan frith, Joshua Peters, Alec Eberle, David Robbins, and Keith Weeks.

Defense

Linebacker Terrance Smith was back at it, getting first-team reps with Reggie Northrup. Chris Casher had both knees wrapped, but practiced. And Tyler Hunter participated in a non-contact jersey.

Defensive back Nate Andrews, who saw limited playing time against the Jackets, once again practiced, as has been the norm. He's another player -- like Cook -- whom FSU could consider resting against Syracuse, as the defense acquitted itself quite nicely against Georgia Tech.

Special Teams

Behind the ones on kick return, Kermit Whitfield and Jalen Ramsey, the twos are now Travis Rudolph and Pigg Harrison.

Up Next

We'll chat with some players after practice, and Florida State will again allow media observation for a few periods during Tuesday's session.