Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski back at practice, Kenny Britt joins team

Wednesday’s Patriots practice featured a lot of fresh faces, with some rejoining the team for their session and a new name making his way onto the roster, as well.

For the first time since Week 11, the Patriots had Tom Brady back at a Wednesday practice, with Brady listed as a full participant after his Achilles injury took him out of three straight weeks of Wednesday sessions.

At the same time, the Patriots saw another welcome return when Rob Gronkowski returned from his one-game suspension, just in time for the team’s biggest game of the year against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While Patriots fans are obviously going to be excited to see number 87 back on the field on Sunday, his teammates’ joy may top it.

“It’s always great to have [Gronkowski],” Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen said. “He's a leader, and a heck of a playmaker for us. He brings energy to our huddle, and having him back in the mix is going to do a lot for our guys.”

While two huge names were back on the field for the offense, one player got his first taste of the Patriot Way at practice as Kenny Britt made his debut with the team. Britt adds some serious size to a small group of Patriots receivers, and his new teammates are interested to see how he fits in the offense, including former Rutgers teammate Devin McCourty.

“Good guy, joy to be around,” McCourty said. “Always upbeat, always smiling ear to ear. He’s a physical guy, obviously big-bodied guy. Excited for him and the opportunity to come here and try and catch on.”

The Patriots will look to bounce back from a tough offensive performance with some big weapons back on the field as they look to take down the top-seeded Steelers on Sunday.