Tom Brady: Denver Broncos are an 'exciting challenge'

6:18 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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Nov 24, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after a completed pass against the Denver Broncos during overtime at Gillette Stadium Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Tom Brady is back at practice with the Patriots.

New England's quarterback returned Thursday after missing one day because of illness. 

The Patriots are scheduled to practice again Friday before leaving for Denver where they will face Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the AFC championship game on Sunday.

Brady is 10-4 in his career against Manning. That includes a 2-1 record in the postseason.

"They're going to challenge us in a lot of ways, they challenged us last time we played them here," Brady said after practice. "We're going on the road into an environment where the crowd is really going to be into it. It's going to be an exciting challenge for us."

The Patriots (13-4) have won their past three games with Brady throwing for fewer than 200 yards in each of them. 

"When you play against one of the best teams in the league you certainly realize there's very little margin of error," Brady said.

The Patriots have relied on a strong running game led by LeGarrette Blount. The Broncos (14-3) are coming off a 24-17 AFC divisional-round win over San Diego.

The 14-year veteran has been nursing a cold for a while. He showed signs of it four days before the Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 in an AFC divisional-round game last Saturday night.

"Doing very well, thank you," the quarterback said Thursday.

Brady was removed from the injury report one day after being a no-show at practice because of illness. And teammates weren't concerned that the lost time would affect him Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

"The most important thing is that he's healthy and 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 really worried about."

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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