New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gave the media a glimpse of his gameplan against the Buffalo Bills for Sunday (Dec. 3). According to NBC Sports, Belichick plans to shut down Bills’ veteran running back LeSean McCoy, aside from relying on his usual weapon in veteran quarterback Tom Brady. “A power running game with a back that can, literally, run the ball from sideline to sideline and make four guys miss in a phone booth," said Belichick, referring to McCoy, whom he said can “turn any play that doesn't look like any other play you've seen before.” Belichick has a point as McCoy is currently carrying the Bills’ offense with 192 carries for 758 yards and four touchdowns and has 46 catches for 295 yards and a touchdown for the 6-5 Bills.

This season, McCoy accounts for 30.5 percent of the Bills’ scrimmage yards, third to Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers (33.3) and Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams (31.2). Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty and safety Duron Harmon both agreed with Belichick’s view. According to McCourty, McCoy is one tough customer while Harmon said stopping the veteran running back is scary. “He's probably the most -- if not the most -- elusive [player] in the league,” said Harmon. However, McCoy will be tested against the Patriots’ defense, which has limited its opponents to an average of 13.1 points per game since Week 5.

Brady returns to practice

After missing Wednesday’s practice (Nov. 29) due to a sore Achilles heel, Brady was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice (Nov.

30). Aside from Brady, backup right tackle LaAdrian Waddle, linebackers Trevor Reilly, Kyle Van Noy and Marquis Flowers, center David Andrews, wide receivers Danny Amendola and Matthew Slater, defensive lineman Trey Flowers, and cornerback Eric Rowe were also limited in practice. Tackle Marcus Cannon and wide receiver Chris Hogan remained out with ankle and shoulder injuries, respectively.

Reilly has a concussion issue and his status for Sunday’s game is yet to be known. Reilly has emerged as a solid contributor on defense after being a special teams role player. The Patriots recently acquired linebacker Nicholas Grigsby off the Baltimore Ravens practice squad to boost their defense.

Six Bills players did not join practice

As for the Bills, six players did not join Thursday’s practice, led by wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who’s been dealing with a knee injury. Aside from Benjamin, tackle Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), guard John Miller (ankle), tight end Nick O’Leary (back), running back Mike Tolbert (hamstring), and defensive end Eddie Yarbrough (chest) did not participate in Thursday’s training. Tight end Charles Clay and wide receiver Jordan Matthews were both limited in practice due to knee issues.