SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) _ New England running back Robert Edwards passed his conditioning test Tuesday, one day after failing it, and was cleared to practice after missing the last two seasons with a knee injury.

Edwards, New England's first-round draft choice in 1998, was hurt in February 1999 during a beach football game held in conjunction with the Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

He suffered nerve damage in his left leg in addition to the severe knee injury.

The conditioning test consists of 20 sprints covering 60 yards each. On Tuesday, he did each of them in 8 seconds or less, the target set by the coaching staff. On Monday, he needed more than 8 seconds to complete several of the sprints.

Edwards said he failed the first test because he was overanxious and not because of problems with his knee.

Another back got bad news as fullback Larry Bowie was released by the Patriots.

Bowie, 28, signed as a free agent Feb. 1 after four seasons with Washington starting in 1996. He broke his leg in 1998, played two games in 1999 and was out of football last year.