- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady downplayed any concern about him sitting out Wednesday's practice with what the team classified as a left shoulder ailment and was a full participant in the team's session Thursday.
"I'll be out there today, you don't have to worry about that," said Brady before practice, hinting that the coaching staff felt it was best for him to take an additional day of rest, but saying he still found ways to ready himself for Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens.
"It's not the first practice I've missed over the years," Brady said. "Coming off a game on Saturday or Sunday, you're just doing everything you can to be prepared. When Coach [Bill Belichick] feels it's best to do other things to get yourself ready, that's what you do. You can still use all that time very wisely. You're not lounging around taking naps or anything like that. You're just putting in extra work and make sure you're getting prepared."
Brady was indeed on the field for the Thursday afternoon practice, which was held outdoors in light shoulder pads. All players were present during the portion of practice reporters were allowed to observe.
Peppered with questions about sitting out Wednesday's session, Brady did his best to alleviate concerns.
"When I miss a practice, you know, you just try to do other things to get yourself ready to go," he said. "So, catch up on your film work, get some extra treatment and so forth. It's just a matter of being as prepared as we can for Sunday. I'll certainly be as prepared as I possibly can be."
Brady appeared on the injury report with the left shoulder ailment during Week 17 (he missed Wednesday's session that week and was limited in two others, leading to him being listed as probable for a game against the Dolphins). It didn't hinder his ability to be on the field for that regular-season finale.
Before the divisional-round game against the Broncos, Brady was removed from the injury report after full participation in Wednesday's first official session of the week.
"I just missed practice, that's all," Brady said. "Not much more than that, really. We're facing a great team, great challenges -- certainly the best team we've faced all year. Everyone needs to be at full strength, though. It's going to be a very physical, tough, hard-nosed game. We need everyone at full strength."
Belichick didn't care to engage the media about Brady. Asked about him missing the session, Belichick offered: "He wasn't out there [Wednesday]; Hopefully he'll be out there today."
Chris Forsberg covers the Patriots and Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.
13hEric D. Williams