Aaron Hernandez: Latest Updates on Injured Patriots TE

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystNovember 7, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 14: Tight end Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots makes a touchdown catch against defensive back Jeron Johnson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 14, 2012 in S eattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Patriots 24-23. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Fantasy owners far and wide are rejoicing this week, as two of the top options at the tight end position will be returning to action after a Week 9 bye.

Well, at least one of them will. As to the other one it's anyone's guess, especially since getting accurate injury information out of the New England Patriots is slightly harder than finding accurate blueprints to build your own intercontinental ballistic missile.

With that said, things appear to be looking up as, after missing practice on Tuesday due to the birth of his daughter, Mike Rodek of ESPN reports that New England tight end Aaron Hernandez was back on the practice field on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Hernandez, who has 17 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns so far in 2012, has missed four games so far this season while dealing with a high ankle sprain and didn't travel with the Patriots for their Week 8 trip to London to face the St. Louis Rams.

Hernandez, as is par for the course with the tight-lipped Patriots, declined comment about his ankle, his baby, or anything else for that matter, but Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald reports that the third-year pro appeared to be in good spirits, which is probably about as much information as we're going to get.

So, since we're not getting any information out of Foxboro that makes it time to read the fantasy tea leaves.

High ankle sprains can be tricky, as evidenced by the fact that Hernandez returned for two games before not making the trip across the pond, but it's reasonable to assume that the Patriots sat Hernandez in Week 8 in the hopes that two more weeks of rest would allow Hernandez to heal sufficiently to return to action this week against the Buffalo Bills.

His return to practice would seem to indicate that he's on track to do just that.

Hernandez (along with half the team) will probably be listed as questionable for Week 10, and it's essential that fantasy owners both monitor practice reports and have a backup plan at the ready. Barring a setback, it looks like Hernandez will be back in action this week in a favorable fantasy matchup with the Bills.