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Patriots Thursday Practice Notes: Myron Pryor Absent Once Again

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The Patriots practiced on Thursday in the cold conditions, as they returned to the outdoor field for Thursday's practice.  The snow seemed to cease in the Boston area on Thursday, as every player made it to practice today without any concern.

Defensive lineman Myron Pryor was the only Patriots player that did not practice today.  Pryor has been battling back trouble since Week 10, however he did play in the season finale against the Miami Dolphins.  Pryor was been used primarily as the interior rusher next to Vince Wilfork, and as Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston points out, the Patriots could use Landon Cohen in Pryor's place, if he is unable to play on Sunday.

Thursday's practice marked outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham's second consecutive practice.  Cunningham was limited again today, but is expected to start on Sunday in the Patriots 3-4 defense.  The rookie  has been a key pash rusher for the Patriots on blitzes.  Cunningham has been battling a calf injury since Week 15.

Runningback Danny Woodhead, tight end Aaron Hernandez, and center Dan Koppen were also full participants in today's practice after being somewhat limited on Tuesday.

After taking a shot at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady yesterday, the Jets have been relatively quiet today after cornerback Antonio Cromartie called Brady an "a**hole" and other Shaun Ellis told reporters Brady taunted them in during their Week 13 matchup.

The Patriots will be playing their first playoff game since their 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens during last year's wild card round.  Veteran linebacker Tully Banta-Cain offered some thoughts on how the Patriots are preparing for their return to the playoffs (via ESPN Boston)

"It's a big game, and everybody's obviously getting excited about it," linebacker Tully Banta-Cain said. "Nerves are running wild, but we're trying still to do what we do and not get too tight, and staying loose for the most part, but the urgency is much higher."