FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots fans finally can exhale. Quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice Friday after missing Wednesday and Thursday’s sessions with a knee injury.

Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle) also returned to practice after being absent Thursday.

Wide receiver Matthew Slater (foot), cornerback Cyrus Jones and defensive end Rob Ninkovich were absent. Slater has missed practice all week after suffering the injury in Week 11.

Jones and Ninkovich both were newly absent. Their reasons for missing the session currently are undisclosed, though Friday’s injury report, which should come out around 4 p.m., will provide some clarity.

Based on his participation in practice, Brady should still be on pace to play Sunday against the New York Jets.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images