FOXBORO — The Patriots had three players who did not participate in practice on Thursday, and a fourth — quarterback Tom Brady — who was limited. Here's a look at the full injury report:

Out
G Stephen Neal (shoulder, placed on IR)

Did Not Participate in Practice
DE Myron Pryor (back)
CB Jonathan Wilhite (hip)
DE Mike Wright (neck, concussion)

Limited Participation in Practice
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder, foot)

FOXBORO — The Patriots have announced that they have placed guard Stephen Neal on season-ending injured reserve because of a shoulder injury. The veteran offensive lineman, who has been with New England since 2001 and is one of the last links to the Super Bowl XXXVI team, has been hampered by the shoulder problem for the bulk of the season. A 34-year-old out of Cal-State Bakersfield, Neal became a full-time starter in 2004, primarily at right guard. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Rex Ryan was asked about Danny Woodhead during his press conference following Jets practice on Thursday. Woodhead was released by the Jets on September 14 and signed by the Patriots four days later. The running back has played a vital role in the Patriots offense, averaging 5.4 yards per carry in his 64 attempts while catching 24 passes.

 

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady returned to Patriots practice on Thursday on the upper fields outside Gillette Stadium after getting Tuesday off. The team was off on Wednesday. 

 

CB Jonathan Wilhite (hip), OL Stephen Neal (shoulder), DL Myron Pryor (back) and DL Mike Wright (neck/concussion) were the four players not spotted at the open portion of practice. The team worked out on the upper fields in full pads. 

 

FOXBORO -- The Patriots were given a rare day off on Wednesday as the coaching staff prepares for the Jets on Monday night at Gillette Stadium. Bill Belichick joked during his Thursday news conference that the players and coaches used the time to "play golf out there, golf, bowling, a little badminton tournament, ate some watermelon, played cards. Just nice."

 

FOXBORO -- The biggest game of the year is about to take place at Gillette Stadium but Tom Brady knows it isn't the biggest game he wants to play in this season. The Patriots quarterback - asked about the level of importance of Monday night's meeting of the 9-2 Patriots and 9-2 Jets sounded an reasonable tone. 

 

FOXBORO -- Jets coach Rex Ryan admitted this week that he came to the Jets to kick the rear end of Bill Belichick and the Patriots but on Thursday he said Belichick is "the best coach in football, and it's not even close." 

 

Speaking on the Dennis & Callahan Show, 'Monday Night Football' and ESPN football analyst Ron Jaworski talked about how impressed he was with Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense, and his concerns regarding New England's defense.

 

Jaworski said when comparing it to what he saw in New England's early-season loss to the Jets that the Pats are "an incredibly different football team." The former NFL quarterback suggested that the progression of the offense should come as no surprise.

 

Mailbag Time and I'm wearing Uggs and waiting for a call back from Leonard Hair Transplant Associates. 

Yup, this is home base of Camp Brady. And my column on Monday suggesting that Brady is the clear-cut MVP brought the expected feedback.



KIRK MINIHANE

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Tom Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week by the National Football League for his "perfect" performance in the Patriots' 45-24 win over the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. It is the 16th time in Brady's career that he has received the AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor.