FOXBORO (CBS) – New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been cleared to play, and is active for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
Hernandez, one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets on the field, missed the last two games after injuring his left knee Week 2 against the San Diego Chargers. The second-year tight end had 14 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns before suffering the injury.
Hernandez was on the field early, with a brace on his knee, and looked ready to go. He will give the Patriots offense another weapon against a tough Jets defense. I fully expect him to make an impact in his return.
Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth will also return to the field after missing the last two weeks with a back injury, giving the Patriots defensive line a boost.
Gresh & Zo Whiteboard: Defending The Jets
Corner Ras-I Dowling, listed as questionable on Friday with a hip injury, is also active.
Read: Patriots-Jets Preview
Seven Patriots are inactive on Sunday. Offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, running back Danny Woodhead, wide receiver Julian Edelman, quarterback Ryan Mallett, defensive lineman Mike Wright, safety Josh Barrett, and linebacker Jerod Mayo will not play against the Jets.
Seeing Barrett’s name on the inactive list comes as a surprise. He practiced all week long, so I expected him to play. Dowling may see some time at safety in his place.
Also worth noting, with Julian Edelman out Wes Welker will be on the punt return. He was out there early on taking punts. With the way his season is going, expect the Pats to find as many way as possible to get him the ball.
Tune in to the Patriots-Jets game Sunday at 4:15 pm on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. After the game tune in to the Postgame show on 98.5, and to Patriots Fifth Quarter on MY TV38