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Aaron Hernandez returns to practice for Patriots

Aaron Hernandez AP

They might not be back to full strength, but the Patriots are at least getting closer to having a full complement of tight ends again.

According to Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com, tight end Aaron Hernandez returned to practice Thursday for the first time since his ankle injury on Sept. 16.

Hernandez has missed the last two games, and since the Patriots scored 82 points in those, it’s hard to say his absence crippled them. But his versatility in the passing game gives them options they can use (even if it cuts into some of Wes Welker’s work).

Fellow tight ends Rob Gronkowski (hip) and Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion) returned to practice Thursday as well after missing Wednesday.

Missing Thursday’s work were cornerback Ras-I Dowling, safety Steve Gregory and receiver Julian Edelman.

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27 Responses to “Aaron Hernandez returns to practice for Patriots”
  1. geniusfan says: Oct 4, 2012 2:19 PM

    My guess is that Hernandez sits out this week and then plays a scaled back amount of snaps against the Seahawks before returning to his full time role the week after that against the Jets.

    Good to see that it wasn’t a severe injury though.

  2. pickensclause says: Oct 4, 2012 2:21 PM

    Did Michael Hoomanawanui get concussed from trying to say his name?

    I think I just strained a lat trying to type it.

  3. mikebaltimore12 says: Oct 4, 2012 2:23 PM

    Has Ras-I Dowling ever been healthy?

  4. truetrue85 says: Oct 4, 2012 2:25 PM

    Obviously still a week or two away from playing… but this is still huge news.

  5. sullijo1 says: Oct 4, 2012 2:27 PM

    There is only one ball on the field during each play.

  6. patriottony says: Oct 4, 2012 2:37 PM

    Are you kidding me..RAS hasn’t even played in a damn game….how is he injured?

  7. citnetter says: Oct 4, 2012 2:39 PM

    I’ll give Hernandez two weeks before he has some other ailment. He’s the new Kellen Winslow.

  8. ampats says: Oct 4, 2012 2:40 PM

    This is great news. When the injury happened it looked like it could have been a season ender. When diagnosed as a high ankle sprain, I thought we were looking at 8 weeks min. Good to see him heal quickly and close to being back on the field !

    Haven’t heard anything about Edelman’s injury except it being a hand. My guess is he might have broken it but I hope my guess is wrong.

    Time to start stringing the wins together and get ready to win the AFCE and push for New Orleans..

  9. all4patriots says: Oct 4, 2012 2:45 PM

    Dowling is healthy.

    He left the team to be with his family because his grandmother passed away, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald

  10. justintuckrule says: Oct 4, 2012 3:13 PM

    There may be no “I” in team but there sure is one in Ras-I.

    #best name in the NFL (did I hashtag correctly?)

  11. knackstermyea says: Oct 4, 2012 3:14 PM

    Put some Hot sauce on it Hernandez!!

  12. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Oct 4, 2012 3:17 PM

    Thank goodness. With a talented TE like Hernandez out, I was really worried the Patriots didn’t have anyone else at that position who would afford them a fair shot at winning some games.

  13. billsin20xx says: Oct 4, 2012 3:20 PM

    Spike’s should be missing for one week for the cheap shot he gave Chandler’s head last week.

  14. plastics017 says: Oct 4, 2012 3:31 PM

    BIG surprise to see Ras-I “glass bones” Dowling on the injured list – WASTE OF A PICK! They knew this guy had medical issues and still took him at the top of round two, I’m still steaming about this pick!

  15. j0esixpack says: Oct 4, 2012 3:33 PM

    I can’t imagine Hernandez did too much in practice with a high ankle sprain suffered 2 weeks ago.

    If he’s anywhere near to coming back that’s amazing – and very bad news for opposing teams – though even then you’d have to think his speed and cutting ability would be limited for quite some time.

    Since he’s not going on IR it’s worthwhile to keep opposing Ds guessing what they might have to contend with I guess

  16. jackdaniels1 says: Oct 4, 2012 3:52 PM

    Time to cut Ras, I’m sick and tired of this fool! Get a job at a car wash pal

  17. beerbaron says: Oct 4, 2012 3:58 PM

    Bills fans still crying about “cheap shots”? I guess after Spikes forced both your backs to fumble, he’s probably not your favorite player. Bet Chandler keeps his head on a swivel when the Bills come to Foxboro, though.

    If Hernandez comes back strong and the running game looks anything like last week, this Patriots offense could be nearly as dangerous as the 2007 version. With two tight ends who can catch and block, there’s just no way for defenses to overplay the run or the pass without getting exposed.

  18. onbucky96 says: Oct 4, 2012 4:04 PM

    Great. Meaning he’ll b back after the bye week. Thanks for the Fantasy tip…

  19. tfitz11 says: Oct 4, 2012 4:21 PM

    I thought that block Spikes had on Chandler was pretty cheap, and I’m a Pats fan. There was no need for it

  20. goods65 says: Oct 4, 2012 4:25 PM

    been keeping hernandez on my bench,only used him week one.hope he is healthy enough next week so i can start him again.

  21. homelanddefense says: Oct 4, 2012 4:27 PM

    Im a Pats fan and even I admit that hit Spikes laid on Chandler was ridiculously cheap.

    GO to youtube and search Brandon Spikes knocks out Scott Chandler

  22. sail105 says: Oct 4, 2012 4:30 PM

    If he can run he will see some non targeted, decoy work against Denver, if on for a few plays.

  23. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 4, 2012 5:16 PM

    Spikes launched should have been a flag and a fine.

  24. orangeclipper says: Oct 4, 2012 6:45 PM

    Tape him up. I need his FF points

  25. all4patriots says: Oct 4, 2012 6:52 PM

    Medicinal marijuana working her magic once again!

  26. clevername1 says: Oct 4, 2012 7:01 PM

    citnetter says:Oct 4, 2012 2:39 PM

    I’ll give Hernandez two weeks before he has some other ailment. He’s the new Kellen Winslow.

    —————

    Really? Prior to this year Hernandez has missed a total of 4 games. I would venture to bet that BB held him out of those couple games to avoid injury. Yeah, new Winslow.

  27. allidoiswin55 says: Oct 5, 2012 3:46 AM

    FORGET THIS MESS. Better not Take Welker out of the offense like he did the first 2 weeks. It cost me 2 losses by only a couple pts in fantasy football.. lol Hope Hernandez is good.. Hes a nightmare!

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