The good news is that he is practicing this week and has looked good. The bad news is that doesn't guarantee he'll play this week.
re Hernandez: he looked good limited drills we saw him, but I'm leery of making prediction after last week when I thought he'd def play— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) November 15, 2012
Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk goes into a little more detail regarding the hazy nature of Hernandez's playing status, based solely on practice time:
For many teams, the reports about player participation in practice serve as a pretty good guideline about their chances of playing on Sunday.
The Patriots are not one of those teams. Tight end Aaron Hernandez has been a perfect example of that this season. He’s played in games after missing two practices over the course of the week and then missed last week’s game against Buffalo even though he was a participant in practice every day.
If you are a Hernandez owner (I am), the back-and-forth over whether or not he'll play or if you should use your waiver spot on a tight end in the past several weeks has probably left you feeling a bit like this:
At least that's how I've felt.
Obviously, if he plays, you have to start him unless you've unearthed a gem at the position while he's been out with injuries. He remains one of the most difficult matchups for opposing defenses to deal with, and though the Indianapolis Colts have been really stingy against tight ends, the Patriots offense tends to defy matchups.
But you must, must, must have a backup plan in place. Though you've likely gotten used to waiting until the last minute to learn of his status, you can't afford to go into Sunday betting the house on Hernandez playing.
It's too risky.
I know how confusing and annoying all of this is. You spent a high draft pick to land him and all he's done is toyed with you with his questionable statuses and unpredictable practice regiment. You feel led on, I get it.
But play the game for another week. If he does miss the vital game against the Colts, he'll surely be back next week.
Don't quit him, folks—no matter how much your whole brain cries.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets can handle as many Hall of Fame egos as you like.