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Julian Edelman back at New England Patriots practice

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The Patriots are a week or two away from being the NFL's scariest offense again.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski rolled into practice on Thursday sporting a knee brace and was listed as a limited participant. On Friday, Julian Edelman joined the show. Edelman has not played a game since mid-November when he broke a bone in his foot against the Giants.

As Tom Brady's most dependable target, and the slot cog that keeps his offense rolling, Edelman's absence was a huge blow to the Patriots.

The news was not all positive, though. Per the Boston Herald, Edelman appeared a bit "gimpy" and could still be a week or two away from taking the field. Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, there is still doubt that Gronkowski will play on Sunday either.

Still, this fits Bill Belichick's M.O. when it comes to easing his players back in. Over the past month, we've seen Jamie Collins, Gronkowski and now Edelman at least migrate their way off the training table. Collins appeared in Sunday's game against the Eagles for the first time in a month and played all but seven snaps on defense.

At least this season, it seems like people are smart enough to avoid the slipping Patriots storyline. This team lost a boat load of valuable contributors but will have them all back by the time the games really start to count.

Edelman may be the most important piece out of all of them.

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