Patriots-Eagles practice report: Gronk still out, Brady limited

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Patriots-Eagles practice report: Gronk still out, Brady limited

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady was back on the practice field with his teammates on Thursday, and his two red gloves were back as well. 

After winning the AFC title game with a piece of tape helping to protect the stitches in his thumb, Brady opted for the look he showed off during last week's practices -- and last week's press conference -- keeping both hands covered. He was listed as a limited participant in a practice session on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. He expected to have the stitches removed this week, and was optimistic that his hand would be close to back to normal soon thereafter. 

Missing from the practice were Rob Gronkowski (concussion), Deatrich Wise (concussion) and Malcom Brown (foot).

There is optimism that Gronkowski will be cleared by the time the Patriots take on the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, but the NFL's concussion protocol is a multi-step process that he must navigate before he's given the thumbs-up from the team's designated physician as well as an independent neurological consultant. Indications are that Brown is also expected to be OK by the time Feb. 4 rolls around. 

Devin McCourty, who is dealing with a shoulder issue, was a limited participant in practice and a new addition to the injury report. 

Thursday's practice participation/injury report for Super Bowl 52:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DL Malcom Brown (foot)
TE Rob Gronkowski (concussion)
DL Deatrich Wise Jr. (concussion)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Tom Brady (right hand)
RB Mike Gillislee (knee)
S Devin McCourty (shoulder)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (knee)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB Kenjon Barner (illness)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
RB Jay Ajayi (ankle)

FULL PARTICIPATION
LB Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring)

Patriots-Jaguars practice participation/injury report: Brady sits out

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Patriots-Jaguars practice participation/injury report: Brady sits out

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady's hand injury is significant enough that he was held out of Thursday's practice, according to the Patriots.

Whether that means he was at risk of exacerbating the injury by playing, or whether he needed more time to receive treatment (or both) is not clear. Brady was present for the stretching portion of practice on Thursday, which reporters were permitted to watch, but the team must have held him out of action following that period.

Brady last missed a practice on Dec. 27 as the Patriots prepared for the regular-season finale against the Jets. He was scheduled to speak with reporters on Thursday afternoon following practice, but the Patriots announced that they had pushed back his media availability to Friday. 

The Patriots will hold their final practice of the week on Friday before taking on the Jaguars in the AFC title game Sunday. 

Thursday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Jaguars game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
QB Tom Brady (right hand)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DL Alan Branch (knee)
RB Rex Burkhead (knee)
RB Mike Gillislee (knee)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
FS Tashaun Gipson (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
SS Barry Church (shoulder)
RB Leonard Fournette (ankle)
DT Malik Jackson (ankle)

FULL PARTICIPATION
QB Blake Bortles (right wrist)
OL Patrick Omameh (illness)
LB Paul Posluszny (abdomen)

Patriots-Titans practice report: Flowers joins Gillislee on sideline

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Patriots-Titans practice report: Flowers joins Gillislee on sideline

FOXBORO -- When the Patriots beat up on the Bills at Gillette Stadium at the end of the regular season, they got a career day out of Marquis Flowers. Deployed to combat the athleticism of Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, often on the second level as a spy, Flowers racked up 2.5 sacks and was one of the most productive players on the field. 

On Wednesday, as the Patriots practiced to prepare for another athletic quarterback in the Divisional Round, Flowers was out sick. He and Mike Gillislee (knee) were the only two Patriots on the 53-man roster who did not participate in the session. 

The Patriots are caught in an interesting predicament defensively when it comes to their plan for the Titans. They could use their speed, as they did against the Bills, to corral Marcus Mariota. They could also lean heavily on their base personnel -- perhaps with David Harris and Elandon Roberts on the field -- in order defend against the power running of Titans back Derrick Henry. They could mix and match with both depending on the situation.

Flowers may not be relied upon as much in either scenario if Kyle Van Noy is healthy and ready for a full workload as he deals with a calf injury. But Flowers' status in Thursday's practice -- the final workout for the Patriots before Saturday's game -- bears watching as he's a versatile piece who provides depth defensively and on special teams.

Here's Wednesday's full practice participation/injury report for Saturday's Patriots-Titans game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Marquis Flowers (illness)
RB Mike Gillislee (knee)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DL Alan Branch (knee)
RB Rex Burkhead (knee)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)
DL Eric Lee (ankle)
LB Kyle Van Noy (calf)
RB James White (ankle)

TENNESSEE TITANS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
RB DeMarco Murray (knee)
LB Brian Orakpo (not injury related)
G Quinton Spain

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
CB Logan Ryan (ankle)