… Chilly, biting windy conditions returned to New England as the Patriots practiced outside on their training camp fields behind Gillette Stadium. The team was in shells, helmets, and sweats for their first workout of Bills Week.
… QB Tom Brady (unclear), LG Logan Mankins (left knee), and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back/right foot) were the only absentees at the start of the session.
… Linebacker Brandon Spikes (right knee) returned to the field after missing the last workout and the Dolphins game.
… The Patriots have made several transactions already this week. First, they cut safety Ross Ventrone from the 53-man roster and d-lineman Cedric McKinley from the practice squad. They then signed free agent veteran fullback Lousaka Polite to the active roster and rookie DB Malcolm Williams to the practice squad. And today, the club filled out its 8-man practice squad by re-signing Ventrone and rookie d-lineman Aaron Lavarias, who'd been with the team during training camp and on the p-squad back in September.
… Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts in leading the Patriots from a 17-point deficit to beat the Dolphins on Christmas Eve. This marks the third time this year and 20th of Brady's career that he's earned the league distinction.
… Practice Players of the Week honors went to: o-linemen Nick McDonald and Ryan Wendell, d-lineman Ron Brace, rookie defensive back Sterling Moore, and wide receiver Tiquan Underwood. All had the coveted black jerseys at practice.
… As always, we should have an injury report for both the Patriots and Bills around 4 p.m.
UPDATE … 4:15 P.M.
… Brady's absence was not injury-related, according to the official report.
… A whopping 16 Patriots were limited today in practice for injury reasons, however: 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 did not take part in Buffalo's practice: 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). WR Ruvell Martin was limited with a hamstring.