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Report: Aaron Hernandez Likely to Play in Limited Role vs. Seahawks

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Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is close to a return from an ankle injury, and a report indicates he is expected to play in a limited role tomorrow against the Seahawks.

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All week, the injury situation surrounding Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been a bit of a mystery. He was limited in participation all week, and listed as questionable on the injury report. Tonight, Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe gave us an update on Hernandez, writing that he's expected to play in a limited role tomorrow:

Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who has been out since suffering a severe ankle sprain in Week 2 against the Cardinals, made the trip to Seattle and is expected to play on Sunday against the Seahawks.

Hernandez's role is to be determined based on how he feels on Sunday, but it's likely to be in a limited role. The Patriots prefer to slowly reintegrate players coming off major injuries in a platoon-type role.

Bedard went on to write that Hernandez' situation could be something where he plays 15 or 20 snaps as part of an "upward track" in his recovery. The Patriots did something similar with tackle Sebastian Vollmer earlier this year, easing him in and having him rotate with Marcus Cannon at right tackle for several weeks before giving him a full workload.

If Hernandez does return, I'd expect him to take snaps most Deion Branch. It's hard to see where Branch will get his snaps, especially when Julian Edelman returns to action. Either way, it's good to see Hernandez so close to a return.