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Zach Sudfeld hopes to be back on Sunday

Posted by Mike Whitmer, Globe Staff  September 20, 2013 01:29 PM

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FOXBOROUGH – Tight end Zach Sudfeld has practiced all week with no limitations, leaving him hopeful that he'll be able to play on Sunday against the Buccaneers after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury.

With Rob Gronkowski also out, it left the Patriots with just two healthy tight ends last week: Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan.

"Yeah, yeah," Sudfeld said after Friday's practice, when asked if he feels healthy. "But again, it’s kind of a day-to-day thing."

Sudfeld is still waiting for his first regular-season NFL reception. He had one pass thrown his way in the season opener against the Bills, but it deflected off him and was intercepted. He did have a good game against Tampa Bay in the preseason, catching two passes, one a 22-yard touchdown from Ryan Mallett in the second quarter of a 25-21 win.

Perhaps there will be some carryover effect for Sudfeld, assuming he's healthy enough to play?

"You hope so, but it’s completely different than the preseason. It’s the same team, but it’s a brand new experience," Sudfeld said. "It was great we got a chance to practice against them, they’re a very good team, great defense, so we just have to prepare to play them.

"They’ll do a lot of the same things, but hopefully we’ll be sharper. That was the preseason, now it’s the regular season, and so everything matters a lot more."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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