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New England Patriots

Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rex Burkhead and Alan Branch returned to Patriots practice on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Quarterback Tom Brady also participated, marking one of the only times in weeks that he didn’t sit out on a Wednesday.

Brady sat out several Wednesday practices in November and December, including Week 17 against the Jets. He popped up on the injury report at times with an Achilles injury. On top of that, he’s also dealing with a left shoulder injury and other possible ailments.

Burkhead returned as he recovers from a knee sprain suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15. The running back scored six total touchdowns in four games prior to the knee sprain. As a result of that and a rib injury suffered earlier in the season, Burkhead played just 10 games in 2017.

Branch, meanwhile, is also battling a knee injury that kept him out for the final three games of the regular season. Now, he looks like a safe bet to suit up in two weeks when the Patriots host the AFC Divisional Playoff. Branch played in 12 games in 2017, starting six.

Rex Burkhead returned to Patriots practice on Wednesday. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Rex Burkhead walks off the field with trainers against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The New England Patriots won 27-24. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

More From Patriots Practice

— Receiver Malcolm Mitchell continues to practice for the Patriots with a chance to return from a knee injury. The team still has an injured reserve return designation that it can use on Mitchell if he’s ready. However, they don’t need to make that move immediately. They can do it as late as the week of the AFC Championship Game, if Mitchell is ready.

— Running back Mike Gillislee (knee) and defensive lineman Eric Lee (ankle) are the only players who didn’t attend Patriots practice on Wednesday.

— The Patriots announced via Twitter on Wednesday that Chris Hogan is one of the team’s Practice Players of the Week. In light of that, there’s a good chance he’s ready in two weeks.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff.