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Quick Kicks: Fri. 12-30 Practice/Locker Room Notebook

Erik Scalavino offers his quick kicks from inside the locker room as the team prepares to play the Buffalo Bills


… Overcast, but a bit warmer this Friday when the Patriots went outside for their final practice of Bills Week. The session was held on the Gillette Stadium game field, with players in shells, helmets, and sweats.

… QB Tom Brady (left shoulder) was limited in what he could do at practice again today. He is listed as PROBABLE, however, for Sunday's game versus Buffalo.

… Backup QB Brian Hoyer told reporters his week of preparation hasn't been any different with Brady nursing a sore left wing. "Not really, because your job as a backup quarterback is always to be prepared like you're the starter. That way, whether you're called upon or not, you're ready to go. If you're not called upon, there's really no loss. Every week, I try to prepare like I'm the starter and be ready to play 60 minutes."

… LG Logan Mankins (left knee) and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back/right foot) were the only absentees. They have been out all this week, and will be inactive for the Bills game Sunday.

… The 16 other Patriots who were limited this week are QUESTIONABLE for Buffalo: CB Kyle Arrington (foot), wide receiver Deion Branch (groin), safety Patrick Chung (right foot) C Dan Connolly (groin), WR/DB/returner Julian Edelman (back), LB Dane Fletcher (right thumb), S James Ihedigbo (shoulder), LT Matt Light (ankle), cornerback Devin McCourty (right shoulder), LB Rob Ninkovich (hip), WR Matthew Slater (shoulder), LB Brandon Spikes (right knee), rookie RB Shane Vereen (hamstring), RG Brian Waters (ankle), WR Wes Welker (knee), and LB Tracy White.

… Over in Orchard Park, five Bills who did not take part in Buffalo's practices all week are OUT for Sunday's contest in Foxborough: replacement kicker Dave Rayner (groin), QB/WR Brad Smith (hamstring), o-linemen Kraig Urbik and Demetrius Bell (both with knee issues), and TE Mike Caussin (knee).

…Welker was named a Pro Bowler this week, the fourth time in his career he's earned the distinction. Like his seven other teammates who were named all-stars, Welker is putting it in perspective. "It's an honor … I would say I'm looking forward to playing in it, but I'm not looking forward to playing in it," he said, referring to the fact that the game is played the week before the Super Bowl. Teams that make the Super Bowl don't send their all-stars to the Pro Bowl. "But definitely honored to be part of it and be nominated once again," Welker added.

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