Aaron Hernandez "unlikely" to play vs. Colts

A source told ESPN’s James Walker, that New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez is “unlikely” to play against the Indianapolis Colts today. This means that Hernandez will likely miss his third straight game after re-injuring his ankle against the New York Jets.

Hernandez has been able to practice on a limited basis for the past two week, but the Patriots don’t want to take any chances by making the same mistake twice. They likely rushed Hernandez back from the ankle sprain in Week 2 too quickly, and that led to complications further down the road after his return in Week 6.

The Patriots will figure to use Visanthe Shiancoe more often, as this will be the veteran TE’s second game with the team. Deion Branch was released in favor of Greg Salas from the practice squad, and Branch received eight targets in Hernandez’s absence last week. We’ll see how many of those attempts from Tom Brady end up going to Shiancoe.

This report from Walker falls right in line with a report on Friday from Albert Breer stating that Hernandez is not expected to play, so it is an almost certainty that the Colts will not have to face the Pats star TE. Rob Gronkowski will figure to be a huge mismatch for the Colts defense, and wide receivers Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker should have big games.

Hernandez was listed questionable on the injury report.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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