FOXBORO -- Logan Mankins (ankle) and Chandler Jones (ankle) practiced again on Friday while offensive lineman Nick McDonald (shoulder) returned and was among 13 Patriots limited in sweats and shells practice outside Gillette Stadium.

Rob Gronkowski (forearm) and Jermaine Cunningham (suspended) were the only ones to miss practice. 

Both Jones and Mankins are reportedly set to return to action this Monday night against the Texans barring setbacks. 

FOXBORO -- New father Tom Brady was again at practice on Friday as the team continued its outdoor preparations for the Texans Monday night at Gillette Stadium. Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen welcomed their second child, daughter Vivian Lake, on Wednesday. Brady attended practice on Thursday and was again at practice on Friday with the rest of the team in sweats and shells on the upper grass fields outside Gillette Stadium. 

Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss Monday's Patriots-Texans matchup and news from around the NFL.

King said Monday's game is more important for the Patriots than the Texans. Houston leads the AFC at 11-1, with the 9-3 Patriots trying to close ground in the race for the conference's top seed.

FOXBORO -- As Tom Brady stepped to the podium Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, I asked him very casually if it feels like another big week in a career of big weeks.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to preview Monday's Patriots-Texans game and discuss news from around the league.

Lombardi looked ahead to Monday's big showdown between the Patriots and Texans and said that the team that will have the advantage is the one that can set the pace.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen welcomed a baby girl into their family on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The Patriots quarterback and his supermodel wife have their first daughter, Vivian Lake, who was born at home. She joins brothers Benjamin and half-brother John, the latter of whom Brady had with actress Bridget Moynahan.

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork is a man who always speaks his mind. On Thursday, he spoke his mind about the 11-1 Houston Texans, the team he and the 9-3 Patriots will be battling Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

FOXBORO -- Logan Mankins (ankle) and Chandler Jones (ankle) returned to practice on Thursday and were among 12 Patriots limited in sweats and shells practice outside Gillette Stadium.

Rob Gronkowski (forearm) and Nick McDonald (shoulder) were the only ones to miss practice among those eligible to participate. Brandon Bolden also returned and was not listed on the injury report after missing two weeks prior to his four-week PED suspension with a knee injury. 

Each week going forward, we’re going to look at some of the commonly held misconceptions regarding the upcoming Patriots game. This week, we take a look at the five myths surrounding New England’s Monday night matchup with the Texans at Gillette Stadium.



After being spotted at Patriots practice for a second straight day, and barring any late setbacks, Logan Mankins and Chandler Jones will be ready to play Monday night when the Patriots host the Texans at Gillette Stadium, according to a report by CSNNE's Mike Giardi. 

Giardi tweeted Thursday, "being told Logan Mankins will play Monday, barring a setback. Pats plan all along. He'll join Chandler Jones."