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When the 3-3 Patriots come off their bye week to host Buffalo on Sunday night, New England fans and a national TV audience will look for the answer to one question: Can linebacker Tedy Bruschi pick up where he left off? Last season Bruschi (right) was an invaluable member of the Super Bowl champions. Over the Pats' final four games he had 39 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Then Bruschi suffered a minor stroke three days after the Pro Bowl, and in July he announced that he would sit out the 2005 season. But he received medical clearance to resume playing on Oct. 16 and returned to practice three days later. "I have confidence in my doctors," Bruschi said. "It's up to me whether I want to play or not." If Bruschi comes back at full strength--he's been working out on his own since the spring--it will be a boost to the Patriots' injury-plagued defense. "Football isn't the same without him," says Steelers running back Jerome Bettis.
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