Adam Schefter reported that the New England Patriots released Kellen Winslow Jr. after he requested the move, and he also stated in the tweet that it “sounds like Aaron Hernandez healing quicker than expected”.
Hernandez was injured in Week 2′s game against the Arizona Cardinals early on and had an initial timetable of 4-6 weeks with a low ankle sprain. However, the recent release of Winslow could mean that Hernandez is closer to returning. He recently stopped wearing a walking boot and does not need a supporting brace of any sort. Hernandez is also a tough player, so that is also something to keep in mind.
Although it could mean that Hernandez is returning sooner, Winslow’s release has much more to do with Winslow’s health than Hernandez’s. The fact that a tight end who has been released by two teams this offseason requested to be released says a lot about possible health issues.
The notion that health issues played a role in Winslow’s decision to ask for a release isn’t just a possibility; it’s almost a certainty. He has been struggling with knee issues throughout his career, and things aren’t getting better as he nears 30 (I sometimes forget that he’s 29). Winslow is productive when healthy, but he is rarely healthy and deals with an intense amount of knee pain.
He will likely take the year off and try to comeback into the league next season as his health improves, so we’ll see how things move on for him. I like Winslow as a player, so I really hope he heals up quickly.
In the meantime, the Pats will roll with Michael Hoomanawanui and Daniel Fells, but I doubt they activate Visanthe Shiancoe at this point in time. Julian Edelman looks like he could be out on Sunday after missing both recent practices.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.