Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was on the practice field Thursday. He had flu removed from the injury report, which indicated shoulder and foot as the reason he got limited work. Brady has been a fixture on the Patriots' injury report all season, but hasn't missed a start so expect him to be on the field on Sunday.
Meanwhile, several other key players sat out practice for the second straight day. Among the missing were wide receiver Deion Branch (knee), right guard Dan Connolly (concussion), tight end Aaron Hernandez (hip), outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (groin) and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion).
Branch and Connolly are starters. Hernandez doesn't start, but his receiving skills are vital to the Patriots' passing game. Wright and Banta-Cain lead the team in sacks with 5.5 and five, respectively. Also, starting outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham (calf) didn’t practice Thursday after being limited the day before.
Players returning to practice Thursday were backup nose tackle Myron Pryor (back) and reserve defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick (shoulder).
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