Aaron Hernandez Out At Least Until October

Hernandez out until October, good news for Welker

9/17/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - Aaron Hernandez Out At Least Until OctoberPatriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who had his ankle rolled on by teammate Julian Edelman on Sunday, will reportedly be out at least until October. This essentially rules him out for next week's game against the Ravens and Week 4's bout with the Bills. A return to action against the Broncos in Week 5 is the best case scenario, but it's never easy to tell how long an ankle injury will take to heal.

This is a tough blow to the Patriots, who had big plans for their most versatile offensive player, Hernandez. Two of the Patriots most reputable beat writers suggested that Hernandez was Brady's favorite player to throw to all offseason, and now Brady will be without him for at least a couple of weeks. While one may think that it's not a huge deal because the Patriots still have Rob Gronkowski at tight end, that is not the case at all. The Patriots use two tight ends on almost every play throughout the game, the same way the Giants almost always have Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz out on the field together. Hernandez, one of the faster and quicker tight ends in the league, is also perfectly capable of splitting out wide to run routes. They may be tight ends, but they're the number one and two receiving options in New England, and it's a tough blow to lose either of them for any amount of time.

With Hernandez out, the Patriots will now use three wide receiver sets much more frequently. This is great news for Wes Welker, who has been demoted to the Patriots' number three receiver, under Julian Edelman. Welker played in 2 of 15 snaps when the offense featured only two wide receivers, but with Hernandez out, the Patriots will find it much more difficult to produce in two-wide sets.
Sep 16, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) runs the ball against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jamell Fleming during the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the New England Patriots 20-18. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
Welker started looking more like the Welker of old after Hernandez left the game, catching five passes to lead the team in receiving with 95 yards. He had the second most targets on the team with 11, so it looks as though Brady is ready to start looking to him the same way he has in the past.

For Welker's fantasy owners who were nervous about the first six quarters that Welker played, you should start seeing the guy you thought you drafted on the field in Week 3. Welker's numbers will benefit a lot from the absence of Hernandez, and it's not a bad idea to try to sell high on Welker when you hear Hernandez is set to return.
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9/18/12   |   Scott   |   51994 respect

Good news for Wes Welker.  Bad news for one of my fantasy football teams