While it still appears unlikely that Aqib Talib will play on Sunday versus the New York Jets, it is very encouraging news that Aqib Talib was spotted participating during the media portion of practice on Friday.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, the news is good because it likely means that Talib won't miss an extended period of time:
Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, who injured his left hip in Sunday's win over the Saints, returned to practice for the first time on Friday.
Talib jogged with his teammates in the limited time media members were present, and didn't seem fully comfortable. While it would be a surprise if he plays Sunday against the Jets, his presence adds context to the overall timeframe with the injury (i.e., this isn't a season-ending situation).
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With the Pats sitting comfortably in the divisional standings, and with Rob Gronkowski's incoming return to the field, sitting Talib so he can fully heal against the Jets would probably be the right move. The Pats will still have Brady, an ever-improving receiving corps and Stevan Ridley to lean on for the offense. The defense has been outstanding, even as the star players have taken hit after hit. It is just a relief to have some confirmation that Talib's hip flexor isn't likely to be very serious.
In other practice news, Tommy Kelly, Danny Amendola and Leon Washington were not spotted at practice for the third time this week, putting their playing status for this week in great doubt.