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Pats LB Bruschi eligible to play against Buffalo

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Oct. 29, 2005) -- The New England Patriots removed linebacker Tedy Bruschi from the physically unable to perform list, making him eligible to play in Sunday night's game against the Buffalo Bills.

Bruschi, who had a mild stroke in February and has not yet played this season, had to be activated by 4 p.m. on Oct. 28 to be eligible to play against Buffalo.

The Patriots' Pro Bowler had the stroke 10 days after helping the team win its third Super Bowl in four years. Although he said this summer that he planned to sit out the entire year, his recovery went well enough for him to come back early.

Bruschi, who continued to attend meetings during his rehab, was cleared by doctors and returned to practice Oct. 19.

"It's out of my control now," Bruschi said before practice on Wednesday. "I'm back. I'm a player. I'm a member of the team. So I've trusted my coaches ever since I was in high school."

Coach Bill Belichick said earlier this week that Bruschi hasn't suffered any setbacks in practice, but he was behind his teammates because he missed so many.

"His instincts are still there and that's what separates him from other linebackers," linebacker Chad Brown said. "He's just got a great feel for what everyone on the defense is doing, how the offense is trying to attack him. And couple that with his great instincts and that's why he makes plays."

The Patriots are 3-3, more losses than they had in each of the past two Super Bowl-winning seasons.

New England had 21 days from Bruschi's first practice, until Nov. 9, to activate him or place him on injured reserve and end his season. He has said he has no doubt he'll play in a game this season.

"I just look at it as a process," he said. "Emotions are emotions and I felt them all, but really, it's just about what I'm going to do today, how well did I do yesterday ... and just focus on playing football."

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