The New England Patriots had full attendance at practice for the first time since September 29th.
For the first time since Sept. 29, the New England Patriots had perfect attendance at practice.
Gillislee hasn’t played or practiced since he suffered a knee injury against the Buffalo Bills in Week 16. Flowers missed Wednesday’s practice with an illness but returned to full capacity.
The biggest question mark remains to be the second-year wide receiver, Malcolm Mitchell. Mitchell has spent all season on the injured reserve with a knee injury. He was designated to return off the injured reserve when he first practiced, Dec. 27.
In order for Mitchell to suit up against Tennessee, he would have to be activated by Friday at 4 pm. If the Patriots advance to the AFC Championship Game, he would have until Wednesday at 4 pm to be activated, or his season would be over.
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Mitchell was absent from practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, but his game jersey was spotted in the locker room, for what its worth.
Bill Belichick was noncommittal on Wednesday surrounding Mitchell’s status. When asked if Mitchell will return this season, he simply left it as “I don’t know.”
"“If that happens, I’ll let you know as soon as possible,” he added sarcastically. “There won’t be a second delay.”"
The Patriots still have plenty of depth at wide receiver in Brandin Cooks, Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt, Danny Amendola and the return of Chris Hogan. Mitchell was quite productive in his rookie season and the chemistry was definitely there with quarterback Tom Brady.
Alan Branch and Rex Burkhead, who both returned to practice last week, also appear to be good to go for Saturday’s game. Branch suffered a knee injury in the Week 14 loss to Miami but claims he is “good to go.”
"“I’m just ready to get back out there with the team,” Burkhead said. “I’m just excited for the playoffs and everything that’s in store. … Whatever happens, happens. Throughout the process, I was really just kind of focused on this time and excited for these games.”"
Burkhead injured his knee against the Steelers in Week 15, forcing him to miss the final two games. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald noted Burkhead was supporting a knee brace at practice and was “favoring” his left knee in drills.