FOXBORO — Alan Branch was seen for the first time in almost two weeks Monday as he returned to the practice field with the Patriots preparing for their fourth and final preseason game against the Giants Thursday night.
Branch had been suspended since prior to the second preseason game against the Bears on Aug. 18. Bill Belichick called the matter a “club issue” and Branch wouldn’t say anything more than that.
“If Bill ain’t telling you all, I ain’t saying a damn thing,” Branch said. “I guarantee you that. If you all are looking for something from me it ain’t happening. I’m just happy to be out here and getting ready to play against the Giants. Being out here with my teammates, we’re all just grinding for the same goals. That’s where we’re at right now.”
The 31-year-old said there are no issues with either his teammates or coaches since returning.
“My teammates are good. My coaches are still good. There is no reason for me to walk around embarrassed at all,” he said.
Although Branch said there were no lingering issues, he did acknowledge he missed valuable snaps and reps during practice and the two games missed.
“Every snap on the field is valuable,” he said. “Every one I missed out there everyone is getting better while I was either staying stagnant or going down while I was going through the personal workouts I was doing. I missed some valuable time out there.”
Branch has been with the Patriots since 2014 as he was let go by the Bills. During that span he has 48 tackles and a sack. After bouncing around the league for his first seven seasons, he feels comfortable with the Patriots.
“I love it here,” Branch said. “Love the guys in the locker room. Love the atmosphere, the winning attitude. Everything about being here is awesome. I love this place.”