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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reportedly misses practice due to an illness

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(USA Today Sports Images)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady missed practice on Wednesday.

Patriots fans, remove your hands from that panic button.

New England will play against the Denver Broncos in the AFC championship game on Sunday. The Patriots are attempting to win their first Super Bowl since the 2004 season. Wednesday marked New England’s first day of on-the-field preparations for its upcoming game.

Brady did not participate in practice, but several reports indicate the quarterback is sick. It does not appear Brady might miss Sunday's game.

don't know & don't want to speculate re Brady's absence...wasn't there for media window at practice and usual Weds presser now sked for Fri

— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) January 15, 2014

flu/flu-like RT @PatsFanCam Does "sick" mean a cold, or flu/measles/bubonic plague?

— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) January 15, 2014

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Brady’s absence, and the coach refused to talk about it (he typically does not entertain questions about injuries).

“We’ll talk about that when it [injury report] comes out,” Belichick said. “We’re not going through it player-by-player. I’m not doing that. I know you'd love that, but I'm not doing that.”

Brady’s absence will likely create a lot of buzz, but he can miss practice and still be effective. New England played against Denver earlier this season, and Belichick said he does not expect the Broncos to unveil many new plays on Sunday. New England’s best option was making sure Brady is healthy enough to play by holding him out of practice.

If Brady does not practice at all this week, it could mean his illness is severe. For now, there is no reason to hit that panic button.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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