Expectant Father Aaron Hernandez Ruled Out For Sunday

Expectant father Hernandez doesn't make trip to London

10/26/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Blog Photo - Expectant Father Aaron Hernandez Ruled Out For SundayNFL Network's Albert Breer reported earlier today that Patriots' tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle) did not travel with the team to London for Sunday's matchup with the Rams. About an hour later, ESPN Boston reported that Hernandez may have stayed in the states not due to his troublesome ankle, but because he was expecting to become a father this weekend. If that were the case, Hernandez would be able to fly to London and meet up with the team by game time. However, the Patriots formally ruled out Hernandez just a few hours after ESPN Boston's report.

Hernandez, who had his ankle rolled up on by Julian Edelman in the second game of the season, has been putting in limited practices the past few weeks, but has played and been effective in each of the Patriots last two games. He was following the same practice pattern this week, and seemed likely to play despite an expected appearance on the injury report.

Hernandez's ankle reportedly did not respond to treatment as it had the past two weeks, and he was having trouble making cuts. As a result, Daniel Fells will fill in for Hernandez as the Patriots second tight end, though they won't run as many two-tight sets as they do when Hernandez is available.

Hernandez has been moderately effective this year when on the field, catching 17 passes and two touchdowns in three games (excluding the game in which he got hurt, as he played less than a quarter). However, he's only averaged 8.4 yards per catch, which is a disappointing number that's down from the 11.5 he posted in that category last year. He'll likely see an increase in big plays when he's healthy and can more easily make moves in the open field after the catch.

From a fantasy standpoint, you obviously have to hold on to Hernandez and roll with your TE2 until Hernandez can play. If you don't have Hernandez, and are thin at tight end, it's a good idea to look into a trade to acquire him. Owners are likely fed up with the mere 143 yards that Hernandez has put up so far this season, and if they have a decent backup, they may be likely to pull the trigger on a deal.

With the Patriots' bye week coming in Week 9, Hernandez will have plenty of time to heal and come out fresh for their matchup against the Bills on November 10th.
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