The stitches in the right hand of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady were removed 11 days after he suffered a cut while handing off a pass to running back Rex Burkhead during practice before their AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network Insider, Brady had an appointment earlier this week to take the 12 stitches off his throwing hand. Brady played with the stitches against the Jaguars, throwing for 290 yards and two touchdown strikes in the fourth quarter as the Patriots booked a spot in Super Bowl LII, where they take on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brady joined the Patriots’ final practice on Sunday before they departed for Minnesota on Monday for Super Bowl LII. In an interview with ESPN before Sunday’s Pro Bowl, the 40-year-old Brady admitted that his throwing hand isn't exactly where he wants it to be, adding that he’s still working on it. However, Brady said he’s hoping that his hand could get better in the next seven days. “I am not quite where I want to be right now, but hopefully by game-time, it should be,” said Brady.

Gronkowski also practiced

The Patriots received good news one day before they travel to Minnesota as they had full participation during Sunday’s practice. For the second straight day, tight end Rob Gronkowski joined the practice days after he suffered a concussion in the AFC Championship Game.

Gronkowski has not yet cleared the league’s concussion protocol, but he’s expected to suit up against the Eagles. On Saturday, defensive tackle Malcom Brown was the only absentee during practice, but he joined Sunday’s session, making it a perfect attendance for the 53-man roster.

Defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. was also present despite being in the concussion protocol.

The official status of Gronkowski, Wise and Brown will be released on Wednesday. Gronkowski will play a crucial role against the Eagles, who have had a hard time against productive tight ends in the regular season, allowing 73 catches for 745 yards and five touchdowns. In the regular season, Gronkowski recorded 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

James Harrison still wants to play

In an interview with Mike Reiss of ESPN, Patriots outside linebacker James Harrison said he wants to play next year, whether in New England or any other squad. "I maybe want to play a year at 40, maybe 41," said Harrison, the oldest defensive player in the NFL at 39. Days after he was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Harrison joined the Patriots and played in Week 17 against the New York Jets. Harrison will become a free agent after this season.