FOXBORO -- The Patriots locker room was a downtrodden one after Sunday's 16-0 loss to the Bills, but there was one positive bit of news for players: Tom Brady's suspension ends at midnight, at which point he'll be allowed to enter the team's facility for the first time since the start of the regular season.
"It's going to be good," receiver Julian Edelman acknowledged. "He's our leader, and it's going to be great to have him out there. We're going to have to have a great week of preparation to get back in sync, that's where it all starts from, going out there and having a good week in practice."
"He's a good football player," receiver Danny Amendola said of Brady. "We're excited to get Tom back. He's our leader."
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The Patriots were able to make it through Brady's four-game suspension with a 3-1 record, the best in their division. And while a rare home loss on Sunday may be the cause for some concern, players understand what having Brady back in the fold will mean.
"Look," said tight end Martellus Bennett. "We're 3-1 right now. Nobody's panicking. Keep doing what we've been doing, continue to get better, and focus, and figure out what we need to, come in and get corrections.
"We've been doing well with whoever has been behind center, and Tom comes back, and we'll continue to do the same thing we've been doing. We've got a loss right now, they were the better team today. But we're still the Patriots."
Being the Patriots means there will be little time for providing Brady with a hero's welcome. Monday will be spent on reviewing the litany of mistakes made against Rex Ryan's club the day before. But having Brady in the room, going over those mistakes with the rest of his teammates, may provide the team with some sort of comfort.
His presence at Gillette Stadium, on the practice field, and in Cleveland next week should allow the Patriots to make the necessary corrections a little more quickly.
When asked how much of an impact Brady will have on the team when he does finally re-enter the facility, tight end Rob Gronkowski smiled, shook his head and shrugged his shoulders incredulously for about 10 seconds.
"I don't even have to answer that," he said.