Aaron Hernandez unscathed after his return

Getty Images

Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez played last Sunday for the first time since Week Two and reported Thursday that his ankle came through without any setbacks or concerns moving forward.

Hernandez, who said he initially thought his ankle was broken, played on 38 of 87 snaps against the Seahawks last week and caught six passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. Hernandez said Thursday that he felt fine while he was on the field and thinks it was wise to wait until Week Six to return even though he appeared close the previous week. The extra time helped allow him to go full speed in his limited engagement.

“That’s the only thing you really could do,” Hernandez said, via Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com. “Maybe I was a step slower, but I felt pretty good, and I look forward to getting better.”

With Hernandez feeling better, it seems likely that there will be a bigger role for him on the team this weekend against the Jets. The Patriots offense has produced with and without Hernandez this season, but we’re pretty sure they prefer the way it works with Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski healthier than they’ve been in the early part of the season.