FOXBORO -- Tom Brady was not at the media portion of Patriots practice on Wednesday as the team began preparations for their season finale against the Bills this Sunday at Gillette Stadium. 

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season. Brady completed 27-of-46 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown and rushed for two 1-yard TDs Saturday, leading the Patriots back from a 17-0 halftime deficit to a 27-24 victory over the Dolphins.

Brady, the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November, previously won weekly honors for his 517-yard passing performance in a Week 1 win over the Dolphins and a 423-yard effort the following week vs. the Chargers. It's the 20th such honor of his career.

The Patriots lead the AFC with eight Pro Bowl selections, it was announced Tuesday night. It is the second year in a row that eight members of the Patriots team were selected for the NFL's all-star game.

On the offense, quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Wes Welker, tight end Rob Gronkowski and offensive linemen Logan Mankins and Brian Waters all made the cut, while defensive linemen Andre Carter and Vince Wilfork also earned a trip to Hawaii. In addition, special teamer Matthew Slater is part of the AFC roster. The seven positional players were all selected as starters.

FOXBORO -- Matt Light spoke Tuesday for the first time since a late foot ailment kept him out of Saturday's game against the Dolphins.

"We're getting there, buddy," a grinning Light told reporters at his locker on Tuesday. "I just wasn't able to go the other day, unfortunately. It's a tough deal, game day, making that decision. But we'll work this week and get back out there. It's feeling better."

FOXBORO -- In an effort to replenish their run-blocking resources, the Patriots have signed fullback Lousaka Polite to a contract, the team announced Tuesday.

According to the Boston Herald, Patriots Pro Bowler Logan Mankins suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee during the first quarter of Saturday's game against the Dolphins.

During his weekly appearance on The Big Show Monday afternoon, Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork said this year's team has mental toughness that he feels was lacking in previous seasons. New England can secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory in Foxboro against Buffalo on Sunday. Last year, the Pats earned the top seed as well, but were upset in the divisional round by the Jets.

The Patriots announced Monday that defensive back Ross Ventrone has been released from the active roster and defensive lineman Cedric McKinley from the practice squad.

Ventrone, 25, has spent time on both the practice squad and 53-man roster this season, playing in eight games. Ventrone, 5-foot-8, 190 pounds, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Villanova on April 29, 2010. He spent the majority of his rookie season in 2010 on the New England practice squad.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, in his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, said that while he and other members of the Patriots are aware of potential playoff opponents, it's not a topic with which they concern themselves. With a 12-3 record, the Patriots have locked up a first-round bye and another win could give them home-field advantage, but Brady underscored that those are less pressing concerns than producing strong efforts on a weekly basis, something that will allow the team to achieve goals such as the top seed in the AFC.

The Patriots made a series of high-profile offseason acquisitions: Ochocinco! Haynesworth!