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Harrison back at Patriots practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Jan. 18, 2007) -- New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison practiced Jan. 18, stretching his injured right knee that kept him out of the first two playoff games.

Harrison had been listed Jan. 17 as doubtful for the AFC Championship Game at Indianapolis. An updated injury report was to be issued later Jan. 18.

He was at the start of the practice for the stretching portion open to the media and, after putting on his helmet, picked up a football before reporters and photographers left. On Jan. 17, he wasn't at the start of practice, although he walked without a limp in the locker room before his teammates left for the workout.

Harrison strained his right knee in the last regular-season game, a 40-23 win over Tennessee, when he was blocked by wide receiver Bobby Wade. That kept him out of the playoff games -- wins of 37-16 over the New York Jets and 24-21 at the San Diego Chargers.

The game against the Titans was just his second after he missed six games with a broken right shoulder blade sustained when he was tackling Marvin Harrison in a 27-20 loss to the Colts in Foxborough.

Last season, Harrison played only the first three games and missed both playoff games after tearing three ligaments in his left knee in a 23-20 win at Pittsburgh. But he started the first eight regular-season games this season.

Three players listed as questionable with the flu also attended the start of the practice -- wide receiver Troy Brown, defensive lineman Mike Wright and offensive tackle Ryan O'Callaghan. Brown and linebacker Tedy Bruschi had canceled media sessions earlier because they weren't feeling well, team spokesman Stacey James said.

Cornerback Ellis Hobbs said he felt fine and takes precautions against getting sick.

"Just wash your hands before you eat, take a shower," he said Thursday. "I carry a little bottle of (rubbing) alcohol around with me now, I know to spray it on my hands every now and then."

He has played when he's been sick.

"I think we all have," Hobbs said. "We've all been down that road once. You get going, You deal with it afterwards."

The team tries to keep sick players away from healthy ones, he said, sometimes not allowing them into the same meetings.

"I haven't really been looking around to see who's been in the meetings or not," Hobbs said, "but I heard a couple of people coughing."

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