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Early start for Patriots bye week; Nov. 5 notes

Practice Report*

DE Chandler Jones (hip) was the only Patriot not on the field for Wednesday's workout. Players were in full pads, and after stretching, rookie DL Dominique Easley was seen getting some sort of medical treatment on his right leg. Teams on bye weeks, however, are not required to submit injury reports, so, we likely won't know if there's anything seriously wrong, perhaps, until next week.

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The Patriots practiced as they normally do on a Wednesday, but today was different because it was the team's one and only on-field workout of the week. With no opponent on the schedule this weekend, New England will enjoy the next several days off.

After a team meeting concluded around mid-afternoon, players were free to go wherever and do whatever they wish until next Tuesday, when they'll resume practice. And most are planning to take full advantage of the layoff.

"Relax. Put my feet up," safety/co-captain Devin McCourty declared.

"Rest up, get away for a few days, handle whatever business I have to take care of," cornerback Kyle Arrington stated, "then come back ready for Indy."

There's a delicate balance the players have to strike between enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation and not getting to complacent. Unplugging completely is not a realistic option for most.

"I mean, you unplug for a day," wide receiver Julian Edelman conceded, "but you're in such a routine right now. We're all creatures of habit in this locker room. I'm sure I'll get a workout in, watch football, but definitely unwind for… a day."

"You might catch the other games [on television], if we play a team down the road," echoed cornerback Darrelle Revis, "I might peek and see what they're doing, yeah, definitely."

"That's the message we were sent off with today: don't relax too much," added McCourty. "Knowing this team, we'll come back with a lot of knowledge on Indy."

Once the team returns on Tuesday, they'll have an extra day next week to prepare for their next game, a Sunday prime time affair on the road against the Colts in Indianapolis.

"We had a tough practice today," Edelman continued, "to work on all our weaknesses and everything we need to do to get better. It was a good opportunity and we tried to take advantage of it. Now we're looking towards the Colts."

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Branch not leaving

For someone like veteran Alan Branch, a newcomer who made his debut last week against Denver, his bye week will include a lot of work.

"I'm going to stay up here, keep my head in the playbook, and keep working my cardio so I can be on the field and help my team out more."

Branch played sparingly against the Broncos after practicing just twice with New England last week.

"It's kind of nerve-racking," he said of being thrust into the fray, "because you don't want to let [teammates] down. Physically, I'm definitely rusty. It felt good. I was out there for a decent amount of plays. I don't know if it was expecting to be more tired or not. I wasn't nearly as tired as I've been on the field before. Happy about that.

"I'm definitely happy about being here and my situation."

Edelman honored

Thanks to his 84-yard punt return touchdown, Edelman was crowned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week by the NFL.

"Feels good," he said before heading out the door. "Especially since that's a whole unit play. I feel like it wouldn't have been possible without crucial blocks and good scheming."

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Practice Report*

DE Chandler Jones (hip) was the only Patriot not on the field for Wednesday's workout. Players were in full pads, and after stretching, rookie DL Dominique Easley was seen getting some sort of medical treatment on his right leg. Teams on bye weeks, however, are not required to submit injury reports, so, we likely won't know if there's anything seriously wrong, perhaps, until next week.

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