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All signs point to Aaron Hernandez playing for the Pats on Thursday

New York Jets v New England Patriots Getty Images

The silver lining to the snapped forearm suffered by Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski on Sunday is the fact that tight end Aaron Hernandez is close to returning from an ankle injury from which he previously returned too soon.

The reports of Hernandez making a Thursday night appearance have been percolating all week, with Albert Breer of NFL Network reporting on Tuesday that Hernandez will play “barring any late setbacks.”

Hernandez originally sprained the ankle in Week Two.  He returned four weeks later, played in two games, and hasn’t been able to suit up since then.

For the season, Hernandez has 17 catches for 243 yards and two touchdowns.  He’ll take on a far more prominent role in the absence of Gronkowski.

Hernandez is one of 19 Patriots who appeared on the Tuesday injury report.  Gronkowski, defensive end Chandler Jones (ankle), and guard Logan Mankins (ankle, calf) were the only three who didn’t practice.

At some point, the Pats’ injury report will be so long that it will be easier to list the players who are healthy.

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11 Responses to “All signs point to Aaron Hernandez playing for the Pats on Thursday”
  1. kingpel says: Nov 20, 2012 8:47 PM

    It is about time. If my fantasy team has to start Fasano or Pettigrew one more time I am a goner!

  2. jrfrom508 says: Nov 20, 2012 8:49 PM

    The injuries are mounting. It’s going to be a test but they can handle it. Next man up.

  3. boswivel says: Nov 20, 2012 8:59 PM

    All signs pointed to Alex Smith playing, too. Good thing that didn’t happen.

  4. richwizl says: Nov 20, 2012 9:06 PM

    Good news if AH is playing, but he is a totally different weapon than a big TE, like Gronk. Sounds like Connelly practiced, too, which is encouraging. We don’t have a great pass rusher to replace Jones, so the job gets tougher for our D-backs. The Jets are much better than they’ve shown; this is going to be a difficult situation for the Patriots.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 20, 2012 9:29 PM

    Lucky Patriots, somehow keeping 5 TEs on the roster is going to pay off! (as well as 5 additional WRs on top of that)

  6. 13arod says: Nov 20, 2012 9:49 PM

    same thing with the steelers

  7. cunninglinguist69 says: Nov 20, 2012 9:50 PM

    “Far more prominent role?” I think Hernandez is clearly one of the Patriots top offensive options (when healthy, obviously) on the team, even if Gronkowski didn’t get hurt.

  8. drugdealerforrandymoss says: Nov 20, 2012 10:27 PM

    Gronk no like

  9. j0esixpack says: Nov 20, 2012 10:32 PM

    The Redskins should take note – no members of the Patriots are going to use injuries as an excuse to lose.

  10. jpb12 says: Nov 20, 2012 11:16 PM

    Visanthe Shiancoe

  11. cmdrsmooth says: Nov 21, 2012 12:25 PM

    Rest him another week. Why risk him to a season ending injury against the Jets when he can use another week?

    Should be able to blow out Jets easily without him. Ask Brady.

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