FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots second-year defensive lineman Ron Brace is feeling better this week after suffering a concussion in Chicago and missing Sunday night's game against the Packers.

"[I'm feeling] pretty good, back to normal, not too bad," said Brace, who returned to practice Wednesday. "I'm not feeling crazy right now. I know where I'm at."

Brace has 27 tackles (18 solo) in 12 games this season, including five starts, and he's been a dependable player for depth purposes along the defensive line, which has used heavy rotations to stay fresh during most games.

The Boston College product had his best four-game stretch from Weeks 8-11, when he made 16 tackles (nine solo). That spurt was keyed by a big push he made to stop Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on fourth-and-goal in New England's Week 8 win.

After a disappointing rookie season, Brace said he's playing with much more confidence in 2010.

"It's definitely higher than it was last year," Brace said. "[The difference is] last year, not really knowing much of the system that I'm in right now, but this year knowing more. Going from last year to this year, knowing better how to prepare for each game as we're further on into the season."