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Branch sits out again

Patriots news and notes from Gillette Stadium

As Steelers Week nears its end, the Patriots took their practice back outside on a snowy, soggy grass field Thursday, similar to conditions they could face this Sunday evening in Pittsburgh.

While New England's injury report is more than twice as long as the Steelers', only two Patriots weren't seen in uniform today. This marks two straight sessions that Alan Branch hasn't been able to take part, after the defensive tackle injured his right knee Monday night in Miami, putting his availability for the game at Heinz Field in serious jeopardy. Cornerback Johnson Bademosi also wasn't spotted outside today, but he wasn't listed on the injury report yesterday. Turns out, he came down with an illness, according to today's report.

Meanwhile, QB/co-captain Tom Brady told reporters today that he didn't have to miss any on-field work yesterday or today because his lingering Achilles issue hasn't been much of a problem this week.

"I feel really good," he remarked late this afternoon.

The Patriots have one more practice this week before the team departs for Pittsburgh on Saturday.

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