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Tom Brady gets stitches out; Rob Gronkowski practices

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Football's most scrutinized hand is now stitch-free.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had his 12 stitches removed from his right hand earlier this week, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Brady had played against Jacksonville with the stitches in his hand, protected by a bandage that received plenty of pre- and in-game attention.

It didn't seem to hinder the five-time champion much. Brady completed 26 of 38 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns in a come-from-behind win over the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game to earn his eighth career appearance in a Super Bowl.

Brady was limited in practice on Thursday, but is expected to play, barring an unforeseen setback. The news of the removal of stitches affirms such an expectation.

In other Patriots injury news, tight end Rob Gronkowski practiced for the second straight day Sunday, but he remains in concussion protocol.

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