Tom Brady spoke with the media Saturday afternoon for the first time since the AFC Championship game.
Brady, who is off the injury list, was back at practice this week, and there was good news Saturday for Rob Gronkowski and Deatrich Wise, as both players were on the practice field.
“It’s always great to have him out there,” Brady said of Gronk returning to practice. “He’s a great player, great person, great teammate and a big part of what we do. It obviously hurts when he’s not out there for a lot of reasons, but he’s doing the best he can do. We’re all hopeful.”
Gronkowski hadn't practiced since last Sunday's game against the Jaguars when safety Barry Church delivered a hit that forced him out of the game with a head injury.
Wise was absent from Friday's practice on concussion protocol and defensive tackle Malcolm Brown was out with a foot injury. Offensive tackle LaAdrian Waddle and running back Mike Gillislee were listed as limited participants.
Removed from the injury report this week was safety Devin McCourty, who was being watched for a shoulder injury.
Brady was spotted Friday still wearing gloves on both hands, since a hand injury in practice two weeks ago.
The Patriots haven't faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles since 2015, but they'll meet in Minneapolis for a Super Bowl rematch of the game played in Jacksonville in 2005. That time, the Pats left victorious, clinching a field goal in the 4th to walk away 24-21. And while the Patiots have experience on their side - playing 37 playoff games since 2001 - many in the country are pulling for an underdog tale. The Philadelphia Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, and are playing next Sunday with quarterback Nick Foles after Carson Wentz was forced to end his season in week 14 due to a torn ACL.
Foles and the Eagles are stacked up to make a formidable opponent on game day. Foles has only 31 more career passing yards (9,752) in the regular season than Brady’s playoff total…in the regular season.