Adam Schefter tweeted earlier that Aaron Hernandez is not expected to play today against the Buffalo Bills, and there is now another report with an even sterner outlook on Hernandez’s availability for today’s AFC East rivalry matchup in Gillette.
Albert Breer was on the NFL Network’s “First on the Field”, and he said that Aaron Hernandez “will not play” today against the Bills. Kick-off is set at 1:00 p.m. ET, so it will be interesting to see if any updates support or contradict these initial reports. My guess is that Hernandez is going to be out today and the reports are all right on.
The update from Breer takes things to the next step, and it seems almost certain that Hernandez will not be playing against the Bills. The New England Patriots already activated TE Visanthe Shiancoe from the injured reserve designated to return list, which means that he could play against the Bills. If he does, then he will be the second-most used TE in passing situations behind Rob Gronkowski.
With Hernandez likely out, Gronk should have another huge statistical day against the Bills. The away team has a badly depleted secondary going into this game due to injury, and they couldn’t even contain Gronkowski’s athleticism and explosiveness the first time these two teams played. Gronk went off, and he could have been even better had he not dropped a few passes early on in the game.
If you are a fantasy player, now is the time to frantically search for Hernandez’s replacement on your roster. That is, if you weren’t prepared going into the game and didn’t have a No. 2 lined up given Hernandez’s ankle issues this season. I wouldn’t blame you, because he has practiced everyday since Wednesday and is coming off of a bye. Most people, like myself, thought he merely missed Tuesday’s practice due to the birth of his daughter.
I really thought he would be playing this week and that it was almost a certainty, but it looks like he will almost certainly be out after reports from the always-reliable Schefter and Breer.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.