Patriots

Patriots Practice: Hernandez Present, Brady Not

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Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown by teammate BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills on January 1, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown by teammate BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills on January 1, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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FOXBORO (CBS) – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was not on the practice field Wednesday afternoon as New England prepares for their AFC Championship matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.

Brady was the only Patriot not present at the media portion of Wednesday’s practice, as the rest of the team hit the field in shells and shorts. He was listed on Practice Participation and Injury Report with the left shoulder injury that has been bothering him for the last month.

Brady was present at his weekly media availability prior to practice, and he has been given the last two Wednesday practices off.

Read: AFC Championship ‘Can’t Get Here Fast Enough’ For Brady

While Brady was not around, tight end Aaron Hernandez was on the field. He was limited in participation, but his presence is a good sign after having to leave Saturday night’s 45-10 win over the Broncos in the fourth quarter with a head injury.

“I feel great,” Hernandez said in the Patriots locker room on Wednesday. “Ready to play.”

Hernandez caught four passes for 55 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos, and was also the team’s leading rusher with five carries for 61 yards. He broke a 43-yard rush in the first quarter to help set up the Pats first score of the game.

Having Hernandez on the field Sunday will be huge for New England, because of the problems his versatility gives opposing defenses.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

“It puts more pressure on an opposing defense, having weapons like that,” fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski said of Hernandez. “You can run the ball out of the backfield with Aaron, or he can line up at wide receiver, tight end. It puts a lot of pressure because you don’t know what’s going to come.”

18 Patriots were listed on Wednesday’s injury report. The following players were limited for Wednesday:

WR Deion Branch (knee)

OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)

S Patrick Chung (knee)

LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)

TE Aaron Hernandez (concussion)

S James Ihedigbo (shoulder)

DL Kyle Love (ankle)

G Logan Mankins (knee)

LB Rob Ninkovich (hip)

OT Nate Solder (concussion)

LB Brandon Spikes (knee)

OT Sebastian Vollmer (back/foot)

WR Wes Welker (knee)

LB Tracy White (abdomen)

Corner Kyle Arrington (foot), center Dan Connolly (groin) and receiver Matthew Slater (shoulder) were all full participants but made it onto the list.

For the Ravens, only safety Ed Reed was listed as limited with an ankle injury.

Tune in to the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens Sunday, January 22 at 3pm on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. Pregame coverage begins with Patriots GameDay on WBZ at 11:30am, with Patriots Preview beginning at noon on the Hub!

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