Aaron Hernandez Injury: How His Limited Role Will Affect the Patriots

Kyle SkovCorrespondent IIOctober 9, 2011

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 18:  Tightend Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots warms up just prior to the start of the preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on August 18, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Aaron Hernandez is expected to play against the Jets even though he is currently listed as questionable with a knee injury.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Hernandez will be in the game, but the role he will be playing is questionable.

The Patriots are looking for one side of the field to be locked down by Darelle Revis, so if Aaron Hernandez was an option to make routes over the middle, the Patriots would get a big boost.

It can not be expected that the Patriots will leave him that vulnerable over the middle, though. This means that the Patriots with one play could be looking to lose him for a lot longer.

The Jets are hard hitters and when they know about an injury, they will go for it.

Hernandez will likely fill the role of body blocker against the Jets.

When using the running game against the aggressive Jets linebackers, the Patriots will need the added blockers off the corners.

This will open up opportunities for secondary running routes if the holes do not open up for Benjarvus Green-Ellis.

Creating blocks and making limited routes is hard work that often goes unnoticed and Hernandez’s impact will be measured by effort, not by statistical numbers.

He will have to have a huge role if the Patriots are going to win. Otherwise, the defense of the Jets should trip up the Patriots offense like they have been able to do for the past two seasons.

The Patriots will likely have a very tough time later today, but they will need Hernandez’s presence if they are going to have any impact offensively during the game.