New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since tearing his ACL in Sept., 2010. Faulk spent the first six weeks of 2011 on the physically unable to perform list, but told reporters he's feeling "pretty close to 100 percent" now.
"I'm not really concerned about the health issue, I'm just concerned about going out there and practicing and not messing up too much," said Faulk.
Today was the first day players from the PUP list were able to practice. Defensive linemen Ron Brace and Brandon Deadrick also joined Faulk on the practice field for the first time.
Brace hasn't played a snap since Dec. 26, 2010, and told reporters he is aware that he has a lot of catching up to do. But he is eager to get back on the field and see how his elbow reacts.
"It's more like a freak accident -- I was playing my regular technique and the next thing you know, I couldn't use [the elbow]," said Brace. "I went to the sideline, found out it wasn't attached any more. I got it fixed, now I'm starting my season. I'm waiting to get out there and see how it stands."
Expanding on the injury, he notes: "I just remember they told me, 'It's the end of the season for you.' That's all I really remember. Right then and there, I said I have to start getting ready for next year."
Tom Brady missed the team's blue-white intrasquad scrimmage at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. He was seen with a wrap on his throwing arm while sitting on the bench during the Dallas Cowboys game Sunday, but his absence from the scrimmage is likely due to scheduled rest rather than injury.
Coach Bill Belichick said injured linebacker Jerod Mayo is getting close to a return after the bye week.
"At the point and time where he is really able to participate in practicing, which we're certainly getting close to that, then he'll have less rehabilitation and more practice," said Belichick.