The Patriots aren't the only ones on the receiving end of some good news about injured players. The Bills are close to seeing the returns of safety Donte Whitner and linebacker Paul Posluszny, both of whom returned to practice on Wednesday.

Posluszny missed four games after breaking a bone in his left arm against New England in Week 1, and Whitner has been out for two games since having surgery to repair tendons in his right thumb. Both players should be cleared for Sunday's game at the Jets.

"I'm very hopeful," Whitner told ESPN.com. "I wish I could've played last week. I'm excited to be back and I've been missing these guys."

The Bills — who have lost three straight and are 1-4 heading into Sunday's road game against the Jets — have certainly missed him, too.

"They couldn't come back at a better time," linebacker Keith Ellison told the Web site. "It's a good feeling right now."

Buffalo is extremely thin at linebacker after losing Kawika Mitchell and Marcus Buggs to season-ending injuries against Cleveland last week, so getting Posluszny back is a near necessity. If he can return this weekend, Ellison can play strong-side linebacker with rookie Ashlee Palmer playing on the weak side. 

"Seeing those two guys come back, it was a big lift and a big confidence booster," said defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. "It's like being down to three in a five-man fight. Now you've got two more guys coming, so hopefully that'll even up the odds."

Will it even up the odds to help Buffalo hand New York its third straight loss? Stay tuned.