The Patriots received some good news on the injury front as they opened practiced this week in preparation of Saturday night's divisional round matchup with Houston. Wide receiver Danny Amendola was once again on the field for practice, and he expressed optimism going forward.
On the flip side, MassLive.com has Alan Branch as the lone Patriot absent from practice.
ESPNBoston.com has Texans coach Bill O'Brien being wowed by cornerback Malcolm Butler.
The Boston Globe explains how the Patriots have balanced the use of three explosive backs. They also examine what it takes for an underdog to knock off a No. 1 seed. NESN.com talks about how the Patriots are managing to take the Texans seriously despite being 16-point favorites.
The Boston Herald says Devin McCourty has become Mr. Patriot. What a difference year makes for the Patriots in terms of injuries. The Herald's matchup of the day looks at Nate Solder and Jadeveon Clowney. The Providence Journal looks at the challenges presented by the Texans secondary.
The Providence Journal has O'Brien extolling the virtues of former Patriots linebacker and current Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel.
ESPN.com says LeGarrette Blount has been one of the best free agent values in league history.
In Houston, Vince Wilfork and Clowney have formed a friendship at the heart of the Texans defense. Bill Belichick compares Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins to Larry Fitzgerald. The Houston Chronicle says running back Lamar Miller is shedding some rust after missing two games down the stretch.