Talib, Amendola Return to Practice

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The news from the Patriots' injury front carries a suddenly positive tinge as two key players are spotted on the practice field.

It's not all sadness and storm clouds in crestfallen New England as CB Aqib Talib and WR Danny Amendola both returned to full-pads practice this afternoon. While each player needs to make significant progress in order to be cleared for Sunday's home game against the Miami Dolphins, some mid-week repetitions certainly bode well for their availability.

Talib is arguably the biggest piece to the Patriot puzzle after missing last weekend's game against the New York Jets due to a hip flexor. His health is paramount going forward on a team that has made noticeable strides on the defensive side of the ball. Talib has been the model of consistency in a New England secondary that is typically anything but, recording four interceptions and exemplifying shut-down sensibilities in the first half of the season. Talib did miss Wednesday and Thursday's practices leading up to the Jets game, but a Friday return coupled with no set backs this week would point to him being a go on Sunday.

Amendola has looked spectacular in bursts, but the biggest knock surrounding his acquisition has reared its ugly head seven games in. Soon after Amendola looked to be rehabilitating nicely from a nagging groin injury, he took a crippling helmet-to-helmet hit during week six that sidelined him indefinitely with a concussion. Amendola's presence on the practice field is a good omen, but he'll still need to pass the NFL's thorough concussion testing in order to be cleared for Sunday.

Meanwhile, DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and KR/RB Leon Washington (ankle) have yet to return to the practice field.

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