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Son of a rancher: Pats LG Logan Mankins learned toughness working with steer on ranch

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    New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins (70) pauses during a stretching session before practice begins at the NFL football team's facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. The Patriots will play the Indianapolis Colts in an NFL divisional playoff game at Foxborough Saturday night. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) (The Associated Press)

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    New England Patriots guards Dan Connolly (63), Logan Mankins (70) and tackle Will Svitek (74) run during a stretching session before practice begins at the NFL football team's facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. The Patriots will play the Indianapolis Colts in an NFL divisional playoff game at Foxborough Saturday night. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia) (The Associated Press)

Logan Mankins got tough working with his dad on a cattle ranch in California. Getting kicked by a steer was just part of the job.

And no reason to take a day off.

That upbringing helped prepare him for a profession that brought more serious pain, left guard for the New England Patriots. And that couldn't stop him either.

Mankins missed only one series after hurting his left ankle Dec. 29 in a 34-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Even coach Bill Belichick was surprised at his speedy return after being helped off the field.

Now Mankins is preparing to face the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC divisional-round playoff game Saturday night.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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