BOSTON (CBS) – Aaron Hernandez was once again present at Patriots practice this week, but Scott Zolak doesn’t think he should play Sunday in Seattle.
In fact, Zolak doesn’t really see a need for Hernandez, who suffered a right ankle sprain in Week 2, to play the next three games, giving him plenty of time to heal.
“I think he is healthy enough to play… my vibe is he’s about 80-percent health-wise. I think his chance of playing (on Sunday) is about 65-70-percent,” Zolak said Friday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zo. “I think as they look at it, you have a team here with an aggressive style defense in Seattle. Would he be great and help you? You’re damn right he would. (But) they did a pretty good job the last three weeks without him, and as I look at this group, there is no way they let this front seven of Seattle line up, lay their ears back and go get him. This is an active and as physical bunch as the Steelers were.”
Zolak notes the ease of the Patriots schedule over the next few weeks – with games in Seattle, against the Jets, and against the Rams in London – and how the schedule picks up following their Week 9 bye as a reason to keep the versatile tight end out for the next few weeks.
“The next two games you can get through without Hernandez. (Then in three weeks) do you think they need Hernandez to beat St. Louis?” asked Zo. “It’s Seattle, New York, St. Louis, it’s the bye. That’s four extra weeks where you don’t have to have any physical hits laid upon Aaron Hernandez. You can practice him and get his legs ready, his football wind ready. But this is the dilemma they look at: they could play him this week, someone could fall on the back of his ankle and that thing can linger.”
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“So I look at, where is the meat of that schedule? It’s after the bye, from Thanksgiving on,” said Zo. “For me, and for the health and well-being of my football team moving forward, I rest Aaron Hernandez this week.”
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