New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski has been in the news lately due to the possibility of a fourth surgery to his left forearm, but fellow star TE Aaron Hernandez is also getting in the news on the health front. Both tight ends spent significant chunks of the 2012 season injured, with a nagging ankle sprain being the culprit for Hernandez’s inability to have a true breakout year in 2012. Hernandez suffered the nasty sprain in Week 2 in that awful game against the Arizona Cardinals, and the Patriots rushed him back to play against another NFC West team (and another loss) in Seattle against the Seahawks. After catching six passes there and five passes in a win over the New York Jets, Hernandez suffered complications on that ankle. The Patriots rushed him back too early, and he had to sit out another three weeks before returning to play the Jets again on a very limited basis.
Hernandez looks really focused this offseason, and you can tell he wants to have a breakout season badly. He is in Los Angeles this offseason working out as much as possible with Tom Brady and Brady’s renowned personal trainer, and it sounds like his big goal this offseason is engaging in workouts to help stay healthy next year.
He told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, “I’d say more attention to specific muscles instead of just doing the basic bench, squat and all that other stuff. I’d say I started a little earlier this year to maybe try to get through 16 games this season.”
In three NFL seasons, the former Florida Gators standout has missed ten games and certainly doesn’t want to miss anymore. In L.A., he’s focused, cut out from all distractions, and he is also getting the chance to spend an offseason with Tommy B. Hernandez’s interview with Howe was excellent, and I highly recommend reading it by knocking out the link above.
There is no doubt that Hernandez has the ability to be one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL, and the TE/WR hybrid will be if he can stay healthy in 2013. The stage is set.
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