FOXBORO -- The Patriots got good news Thursday when three key players were cleared to return to practice. Albert Haynesworth (back), Mike Wright (concussion) and Aaron Hernandez (knee) were all back on the field for practice in full pads on the lower grass field outside Gillette. 

Hernandez has been out since injuring his left knee in a Week 2 win over the Chargers while Wright has been out since getting hit in the head in Week 1 against the Dolphins. Haynesworth missed the last two weeks with a back issue. 

FOXBORO -- He hasn't yet been cleared to play on Sunday and still sports a brace on his injured left knee, but Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez said Thursday that he would welcome a chance to play against Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis. The Jets cornerback said this week that Hernandez gives the Patriots offense an added dimension and would be a challenge he'd like to take on if the right situation presented itself. 

"I think it would be a good matchup," Hernandez said. "You could change that into a story, now." 

FOXBORO -- If the Patriots’ pass rush is going to turn things around, this week is as good a time as any.



FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Antonio Cromartie was asked following Jets practice on Wednesday if he thinks he'll be booed when he takes the field at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

"I hope I get booed again, honestly." said Cromartie. "I hope I get booed again. They're not my fans. My fans are in New York." 

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan owns a 3-2 head-to-head coaching record against Bill Belichick, but Ryan elected to take a modest approach when asked during his press conference Wednesday if he thinks Sunday's game between the Jets and Patriots will come down to coaching.

FOXBORO -- Jerod Mayo, Julian Edelman and Danny Woodhead were among the seven Patriots players who did not participate in practice on Wednesday. Mayo is reportedly out indefinitely with a sprained MCL in his left knee while Edelman and Woodhead sustained ankle injuries in Sunday's win over the Raiders. In one bit of good news, Taylor Price, who had missed time recently with a hamstring injury, was not on the injury report and was at practice. Here’s the complete Wednesday injury report for the Patriots.

FOXBORO -- The man who caught the game-winning catch against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII still can't believe his good fortune that led to one of the most dramatic catches in Super Bowl history. On Sunday, Plaxico Burress - now with the Jets - faces the Patriots for the first time since the catch the crushed New England's sports psyche and ended the Patriots' dreams of becoming the first 19-0 team in NFL history. 

FOXBORO -- If Bill Belichick had interest in the offseason in Plaxico Burress, as the Patriots coach indicated in Tuesday's conference call, the star receiver said Wednesday in a conference call with Patriots media that he never heard from the coach.  

"I never heard from them," Burress said. "Well, my agent and myself never heard from him, personally. Maybe he did do some research or look at some tape or what have you, but I never heard from him personally." 

FOXBORO -- The Patriots game in Oakland last Sunday took its injury toll and part of that toll was evident on Wednesday as the Patriots began their on-field preparation for the Jets this Sunday at Gillette. 

Jerod Mayo (left knee) and Danny Woodhead (left ankle) were two of the seven Patriots not spotted at the start of practice on the lower grass field outside Gillette. Also missing were Julian Edelman, Aaron Hernandez, Seabastian Vollmer, Albert Haynesworth and Mike Wright. The team worked out in shorts and shells as heavy rain greeted the team at the start of practice.

In a season where he’s made 400-yard outings look positively routine, Tom Brady’s performance last week against the Raiders appeared pedestrian.