Burkhead, Branch missing from Patriots practice


FOXBORO -- The Patriots were missing a couple of players when they took the practice field on Wednesday afternoon. Rex Burkhead and Alan Branch, both dealing with knee injuries, were absent from the start of the workout.

Branch suffered his injury in Miami during a Week 14 loss, and according to NFL Media, he's dealing with a meniscus issue that is expected to keep him out "a few weeks." 

Burkhead, meanwhile, was injured during Sunday's win over the Steelers. He has a knee sprain, per NFL media, and the Patriots are "optimistic" he'll be back for the playoffs. 

The Patriots did have Kyle Van Noy and Chris Hogan on the field for Wednesday's practice. Hogan missed Sunday's game with a shoulder injury after playing against the Dolphins in Week 14. Van Noy has not played in two weeks since aggravating a calf injury he initially injured against the Dolphins in Week 12. 

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