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Devin McCourty returns to practice


Patriots safety Devin McCourty had plenty of time to heal up before they open up the playoffs, but sooner’s always better than later so it’s good news for New England that McCourty was participating in practice on Wednesday.

McCourty suffered a concussion in Week 16 and did not play in the regular season finale against the Bills as a result. Concussion symptoms can return, but the amount of time between now and the Divisional Round makes it highly likely that McCourty will be able to resume his role on defense for the AFC East champs.

Some other players will be taking a slower route back to health. Left guard Logan Mankins missed Wednesday’s session with the ankle injury he suffered last weekend. Mankins briefly left the game, but was able to finish the game despite the injury. Wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who left that game with a foot injury, also did not practice.

The Patriots are scheduled to practice the next two days before taking off for the weekend.