FOXBORO -- After spending the bulk of his college career in the spotlight, Ryan Mallett understands that he’s got to spend a little time in the shadows, especially when he's an understudy to someone like Tom Brady.



FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork were listed as limited at practice on Wednesday as the Patriots released their practice report Wednesday - their first day of practice in advance of Tim Tebow and the Broncos. In both cases, the team listed Brady and Wilfork as limited but not injury-related. Sebastian Vollmer and Patrick Chung were the only absentees from practice, held in sweats and shells on the upper practice fields. Wednesday's complete injury report is as follows:

Did Not Participate:
OT Sebastian Vollmer (back, foot)

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to talk about the Patriots' matchup with the Broncos and Tim Tebow.

Baldinger said Tebow present a real threat to all opposing defenses, and he doesn't expect him to hit a wall anytime soon.

FOXBORO -- Safety Patrick Chung and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer were the only Patriots players not spotted at the team's first on-field practice in preparation for Tim Tebow and the Broncos this Sunday in Denver. The team practiced on the upper grass fields in sweats and shells. 

Chung hasn't played since injuring his right foot on Nov. 6 against the Giants while Vollmer has missed the last two games since injuring his right foot on Nov. 27 at Philadelphia. 

FOXBORO -- A week after being cut, defensive back Sterling Moore was re-signed to the Patriots practice squad on Wednesday as the team prepares for Tim Tebow and the Broncos Sunday in Denver.

The 21-year-old Moore has spent time on the practice squad and the 53-man roster for the Patriots this season. He has played in five games -- including three starts -- while recording six total tackles.

Tim Tebow has managed to pull it off.

He's the most underrated and overrated quarterback on the planet today.

First: I was wrong about Tebow.



KIRK MINIHANE

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FOXBORO -- After setting a new standard for NFL tight ends with his 14th and 15th touchdown receptions of the season, Rob Gronkowski on Wednesday was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 14. 

Gronkowski not only caught two touchdowns to pass Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis for the most in a single season by any tight end in NFL history, he totaled 160 yards receiving on six catches, just one yard shy of the franchise record set by Ben Coates in September 1994. 

Traditionally, the Patriots have always been pretty good when it comes to staying on message. From coach Bill Belichick on down, they’ll hammer home a couple of consistent points every week.



Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since his sideline spat with quarterback Tom Brady, and said both of them are over it and have moved in to concentrate on this week’s opponent, the Broncos.

“I heard from my mom, [to] watch my language,” he said with a laugh. “It (was) just two competitive guys that want the best for the team. We’ve moved on to Denver and are getting ready for Denver now.”

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, in an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan Show, said that despite catching 71 passes for 1,088 yards and 15 touchdowns (an NFL single-season record for a tight end), there remains plenty of room for him to elevate his game. Pats quarterback Tom Brady has said that Gronkowski has shown constant improvement in his two-season career ("Thanks, Tom," Gronkowski laughed), and the 22-year-old suggested that he is driven to do just that.