Alan Branch

Rob Gronkowski back after missing Thursday's practice


Rob Gronkowski back after missing Thursday's practice

FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski was healthy enough to practice and speak to the media Friday, so any concern over his absence from practice Thursday should be quelled a bit. 

While the tight end was on the field Friday, the team had far from perfect attendance. Eric Lee was did not practice, though he spoke to the media Friday afternoon and did not seem overly concerned about his status. 

Alan Branch (knee), Rex Burkhead (knee) and Mike Gillislee (knee) all remained out to complete what’s been a week-long absence for the trio. Branch has missed the last two games, while Burkhead missed last week. 

The team’s official injury report will be out later this afternoon.

Pats-Bills inactives: Hogan, White, Van Noy all out


Pats-Bills inactives: Hogan, White, Van Noy all out

FOXBORO -- Nate Solder was a late addition to the Patriots injury report, listed as questionable with an illness on Saturday night, but he'll be in uniform against the Bills on Christmas Eve. 

With Solder expected to man the left edge, look for the Patriots to go with LaAdrian Waddle on the right side and Cameron Fleming to serve as the swing tackle. The Patriots regulars on the interior offensive line, which helped open up room for backs to run for nearly 200 yards the last time these two teams met, are healthy and ready to go. 

Chris Hogan will miss his second consecutive week with a shoulder injury after playing a starter's workload in Miami two weeks ago. That could mean more action for Kenny Britt, who will be in uniform for the second time after signing with the Patriots less than two weeks ago. 

The Patriots will also be forced to go without sub back James White and multi-purpose back Rex Burkhead, meaning the rotation of runners will be short against Buffalo's run defense. Mike Gillislee -- a healthy scratch since the bye week -- will be in uniform and ready to go. He could be a factor on first down and by the goal line. How the Patriots use Dion Lewis will be fascinating. He's been their best runner this season, but the team may want to manage him somewhat if possible to ensure that he's ready for postseason play. Will he serve as a sub back? Will he remain heavily used on first down? We'll see. 

Without Kyle Van Noy for the third consecutive week., New England's front seven will have its hands full. They were soft on the edges in Orchard Park in Week 13 and will need help from Trey Flowers (who did not play in the first meeting between these clubs), Deatrich Wise and Eric Lee against LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor. 

DL Alan Branch
RB Rex Burkhead
OL Cole Croston
WR Chris Hogan
LB Trevor Reilly
LB Kyle Van Noy
RB James White

CB Breon Borders
TE EJ Gaines
WR Andre Holmes
OT Conor McDermott
OF John Miller
WR Brandon Reilly
TE Logan Thomas


Injury report: Burkhead, Branch out; 8 Pats questionable


Injury report: Burkhead, Branch out; 8 Pats questionable

The Patriots’ final injury report of the week before they host the Bills Sunday has running back Rex Burkhead and defensive lineman Alan Branch ruled out with knee injuries after not practicing all week.

Eight other Pats are listed as questionable, including running back James White (ankle), wide receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder) and linebacker Kyle Van Noy (groin).

The full report: