Gronkowski, Hernandez among 12 questionable Patriots

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On Friday morning, we shared a report that Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was a “virtual certainty” to miss Sunday’s game against the Broncos.

The Patriots haven’t ruled him out yet, though. Hernandez was back on the practice field Friday and wound up with a questionable designation on the Patriots’ Week Five injury report. Coach Bill Belichick was asked at his media session about Hernandez’s status, but the coach didn’t offer much in the way of a hint about Hernandez’s chances of playing.

“Yeah, good to see him back out there of course, always. It’s good to see all the players back out there,” Belichick said in comments distributed by the team. “If somebody is out, it’s good to see him come back and good to see him do more. We’ll just take it day to day and see where we end up here.”

The Patriots’ other star tight end joins Hernandez as one of the team’s 12 questionable players. Rob Gronkowski had the same designation before playing against the Bills last weekend and, like Hernandez, practiced on Thursday and Friday after missing Wednesday’s session. Linebacker Donta’ Hightower, guard Logan Mankins and running back Brandon Bolden are some of the other Patriots given a 50/50 chance of playing this weekend.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman and safety Steve Gregory don’t enjoy such good odds. They’ve both been ruled out for Denver, making it two straight weeks that the team will play without Edelman.