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Patriots practice update: QB Tom Brady, WR Malcolm Mitchell return

After being absent yesterday, the two returned to the practice fields today.

Yesterday, the New England Patriots offense received a boost when veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola returned to practice. He had missed the previous four weeks with a high ankle sprain. Today, the unit saw the return of two other important pieces: quarterback Tom Brady, the most important of them all, and rookie wideout Malcolm Mitchell.

Brady sat out yesterday’s session with a thigh injury. The issue was first listed on the injury report leading up to the Patriots’ week 16 game against the New York Jets. Brady did not miss any playing time because of the injury, though, and was his usual dominant self against the Jets and Miami Dolphins.

During today’s press conference, Brady talked about finding the right balance between practicing and sitting out a session:

You obviously want to practice because you want to be prepared to play, but sometimes if you overdo it, you're not feeling as good as you want to on Sunday when you are playing. I think after 17 years I've got a pretty good balance for those things. I'm the type of person who likes to practice a lot. I've also been around long enough to know you've got to be smart too, so it's just trying to find that right balance.

After injuring his knee during the above-mentioned Jets game, Mitchell was held out of all three practices last week and was inactive for the Patriots’ game in Miami. After also being absent yesterday, the rookie wide receiver returned to the field today.

While Brady and Mitchell were back on the field today, rookie cornerback Cyrus Jones (knee) was again a no-show. He was joined by first-time absentee Alan Branch. The veteran defensive tackle was previously listed on the injury report with a back injury but was removed in week 11.