Tom Brady back at practice after missing day

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm •  Published: January 16, 2014
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — No sniffles, no coughs, no watery eyes.

Patriots fans can breathe easy now that Tom Brady is back at practice

"Doing very well, thank you," the quarterback who will lead New England into the AFC championship game said Thursday.

Brady was removed from the injury report one day after being a no-show at practice because of illness. And teammates weren't concerned that the lost time would affect him Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

"The most important thing is that he's healthy and that he's ready to go," running back Shane Vereen said. "He's been doing this for a long time, so he's the last one that I'm really worried about."

The 14-year veteran has been nursing a cold for a while. He showed signs of it four days before the Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 in an AFC divisional-round game last Saturday night.

"A little bit," he said then, "but I'll live."

Special teams captain Matthew Slater, whose locker is next to Brady's, smiled when asked Thursday if he was worried that Brady might be contagious.

"I didn't put up a barrier. I think he's feeling better," Slater said. "We've got to keep everybody healthy. It's the cold and flu season."

Brady wouldn't say what his illness was — "It was nothing. I feel great. Nothing at all." — and didn't think his one-day absence would set him back.

"We've been at it for a while now," he said. "I've played a lot of football over the whole season."

Lately, that's involved handing the ball off more than throwing it. In the last three games, all wins, the Patriots (13-4) have averaged 41 rushes for 214 yards and 25 passes for 153 yards. For the first time in three seasons, Brady has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in three consecutive games.

But that's not how the three-time Super Bowl champion measures success.

"I think it's just about winning," Brady said. "If we need to throw for 500 yards, hopefully we can do that. If we need to throw for 50 yards, I'll throw for 50 yards. As long as we win and whatever it takes for us to score more points than the other team, that's what we have to do."

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