FOXBORO -- Tom Brady strode to the podium in the Patriots media room Thursday a day late, wearing his customary winter beanie and a five o'clock shadow. He looked like himself.
The Patriots quarterback said he felt healthy just one day after being sent home with an illness and missing the team's first practice of the week.
"It was nothing. I feel great," Brady said. "It was nothing at all."
Both Brady long snapper Danny Aiken, who also missed Wednesday's practice due to illness, were both back on the field Thursday morning.
With Brady out, backup quarterback Ryan Mallett handled the team's first-team offense and also reprised his role as Peyton Manning impersonator on the scout offense to help New England's defense prepare for the Broncos.
Missing a day of practice three days before the AFC Championship game isn't ideal, but Brady explained that he's busy catching up on what he missed. He didn't feel as though his play would be adversely affected by his absence on Wednesday.
"We've been at it for a while now," Brady said. "There's days where I miss days of practice. I play a lot of football over the season, I got back out there today and it felt good. It was good to get out there, we were moving around good, and the team is practicing good."
Brady's Patriots teammates were just glad to see him back.
"Definitely happy that he's back and feeling better," said defensive end Rob Ninkovich.
“I think the most important thing is that he’s healthy, that he’s ready to go," running back Shane Vereen said. "He’s been doing this for a long time, so he’s the last one that I’m worried about.”