By Danny Picard
FOXBORO -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn't speak to the media for the second straight day that he was supposed to, but his flu-like symptoms didn't hold him back from Thursday's practice at Gillette Stadium.
Brady originally was supposed to be available to the media on Wednesday, as he usually is. But that was pushed back to Thursday because Brady was suffering from the flu, forcing him to miss Wednesday's practice.
And on Thursday Brady's media availability was pushed back once again, as the quarterback was still dealing with those flu-like symptoms.
The limited amount of Patriots players who talked to the media on Thursday all realize it's in the team's best interest for Brady to get all the rest he can, prior to Sunday's game in Buffalo.
"We have to do what we have to do," said wide receiver Deion Branch. "Whatever it takes to get Tom up to full steam. If he needs to rest two or three days, that's what he's got to do."
Branch spoke to the media on Thursday, but unlike Brady, he wasn't available at Thursday's practice. It marked the second straight day that Branch (knee) was missing.
Also missing was Dan Connolly (concussion), Aaron Hernandez (hip), Tully Banta-Cain (groin), Jermaine Cunningham (calf), and Mike Wright (concussion).
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.
Former Patriots Randy Moss, Ty Law and Richard Seymour are among 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
In January, selectors will reduce the list to 15 finalists, who will join seniors Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributor Bobby Beathard on the final ballot. The annual selection meeting will take place Feb.y 3, the day before Super Bowl LII.
Click here for the complete story from NBC's Pro Football Talk.
Cassius Marsh was brought to New England to help a depleted defensive end group and play in the kicking game. The Patriots wanted him badly enough that they parted with two draft picks -- a fifth and a seventh -- to acquire him in a trade with the Seahawks just before the start of the season.
Less than three months later, they've decided to part ways with the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder.
Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots this season, providing the team with an edge defender and someone with special-teams experience. He blocked a kick in Week 7 against the Falcons that earned him an enthusiastic attaboy from coach Bill Belichick.
Coming off the edge, Marsh recorded one sack and 13 hurries. Against the run, he was used more sparingly, and he was one of the Patriots on the scene for Marshawn Lynch's 25-yard run in the second quarter on Sunday. He played in just two snaps in Mexico City after missing the previous week's game in Denver due to a shoulder injury.
Without Marsh the Patriots remain thin at defensive end. In order to help bolster that spot, the corresponding move the Patriots made to fill the open spot on their 53-man roster was to sign defensive lineman Eric Lee off of the Bills practice squad.
Lee entered the league with the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lee has bounced on and off of the Bills practice squad this season since being released by the Texans before this season.
The Patriots got a good look at Lee during joint practices last summer with the Texans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the preseason game with the Texans that week, Lee played 40 snaps and according to Pro Football Focus he had two quarterback hurries. The Patriots have a history of snagging players they've practiced against, and with Lee, that trend continues.