The Jets wide receiver didn't practice Wednesday after the elbow swelled up in the middle of the night. Burress fell on it during the Jets' 34-17 loss at Baltimore last Sunday, and he woke up around 3 a.m. Wednesday because of the sudden swelling.
"I just had a little soreness, a little stiffness, a little swelling," Burress said. "So they just held me out for today, and I'll be ready to go (Thursday) and Friday. So it's nothing serious, just a little swelling, a little soreness, but it's nothing to keep me out of the game."
Burress, who has 10 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns, also has dealt with a sprained ankle and tightness in a hamstring since signing with the Jets as a free agent in late July. He had a long layoff from football after serving a 20-month prison term on a gun charge after accidentally shooting himself in the leg in November 2008.
Jets linebacker Calvin Pace also didn't practice Wednesday because of an issue with his abdomen. Ryan said Pace should be fine to play against the Patriots. Pace and Burress worked off to the side with trainers during practice.
Jets center Nick Mangold was limited, but he said his high right ankle sprain is improving. He participated in some drills in full pads with the first-team offense and hopes to play after missing the last two games.
"I'd say pretty good," Mangold said of his chances of playing. "We'll see. It's day by day, but it's looking good."
Mangold added that if the Jets had been playing Wednesday, he believed he'd be able to go.
The Patriots had a number of key contributors miss practice Wednesday.
Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth continues to nurse his injured back, and linebacker Jerod Mayo missed his first practice since injuring his medial collateral ligament last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Also not present were running back Danny Woodhead (ankle), tight end Aaron Hernandez (knee) and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.