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Patriots practice update: WR Malcolm Mitchell returns off injured reserve; Tom Brady one of four absent

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It looks as if New England activated a certain second-year wideout off injured reserve.

Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots returned to work today for their first practice session after Christmas – and it was a noteworthy one as two “new” faces were present: For one, recently signed linebacker James Harrison was on the field for the first time since joining the team yesterday. He will wear number 92 moving forward, with Geneo Grissom moving to 96.

Today's practice also saw the return of wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell. The second-year man, who caught a combined 39 passes for 476 yards and four touchdowns during his rookie campaign, was placed on injured reserve in September and has been out since. His return to the practice fields means that the Patriots have designated him as their second and final returnee off injured reserve.

While Harrison and Mitchell were back, four Patriots were not spotted during the open portion of today's practice: Quarterback Tom Brady was a no-show as were running backs Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead as well as defensive tackle Alan Branch. Today's injury report, which will be released at around 4:00 p.m. ET will give more information as to why the quartet was not spotted.