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Patriots Thursday practice update: Tom Brady absent again, Malcolm Butler returns

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New England holds its second practice session of the week today.

NFL: New England Patriots-Minicamp Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are back on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium today and are currently holding their second session of the week leading up to Monday night's game against the Miami Dolphins. And for the second time in a row, the team's best player is missing: According to multiple media reports, quarterback Tom Brady remains out due to undisclosed reasons.

Brady was removed from the injury report last Friday – he had been dealing with an achilles issue – and did not suffer any visible injury during Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. Today's practice report, which will be released at around 4:00 p.m. ET, will give us more clarity as to why the greatest quarterback of all time will have missed back-to-back practices for the first time all season.

The Herald’s Jeff Howe reports that Brady is expected to play on Monday.

The 40-year old is not the only player absent: Just like yesterday, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, defensive edge Deatrich Wise Jr. and linebacker Kyle Van Noy were also out. While Cannon and Van Noy have been dealing with ankle and foot injuries, respectively, the cause for Wise Jr.'s absence is not yet known (but again, the injury report will list it). Also absent is Rob Gronkowski, who is suspended for the game in Miami.

Not all is bad, however. Cornerback Malcolm Butler, who was a no-show yesterday, returned to practice, while Chris Hogan was also back on the field. The starting wide receiver has been dealing with a shoulder injury he suffered in week eight; one that forced the 29-year old to miss the Patriots' last four games.

We will report additional updates as soon as they become available.