Former Patriots and Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody, now an ESPN analyst, checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss Thursday's Pats-Jets game.

Asked which team has more dislike for the other, Woody said it's the Jets, although he noted: "This time around it's been quiet here in New York from the Jets' perspective."

The Patriots start the most important stretch of the regular season Thursday night in New Jersey against the Jets.



Despite any last-minute setbacks, Aaron Hernandez will play against the Jets on Thursday, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network. The tight end, who has been hobbled with an ankle issue since a Week 2 loss to the Cardinals, was listed as limited on the Patriots practice report on Tuesday, and has 17 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns in four games of action this season. New England could use the extra depth at tight end, as Rob Gronkowski's arm injury figures to keep him on the sidelines for the next four to eight weeks.

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski (forearm/hip), Chandler Jones (right ankle) and Logan Mankins (ankle/calf) again missed practice again on Tuesday. The team held another walk through on Wednesday before leaving for New Jersey. 

Gronkowski broke his left forearm blocking on the eighth and final extra point in Sunday's 59-24 rout of the Colts at Gillette Stadium. He had surgery on Monday morning and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. 

The Patriots also listed 13 as limited again on Tuesday. Here is Tuesday's full injury report: 

The Patriots signed defensive back Malcolm Williams to the practice squad Tuesday. Williams, 24, was signed to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Oct. 27 and played as a reserve in the win at St. Louis. He was released by the Patriots on Nov. 17. Williams was signed to the New England practice squad on Sept. 1 after being released following training camp on Aug. 31.

An injury-decimated Steelers team is reportedly adding former Patriots backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and receiver Plaxico Burress. 

FOXBORO -- Echoing what he said Monday during his appearance on Dennis & Callahan on WEEI, Tom Brady said there's "only one Rob Gronkowski" and the Patriots will have to make due. But on Tuesday, during his weekly press conference prior to the Jets Thursday night, Brady added that he hasn't spent any time worrying about the loss of his No. 1 target on the field.

FOXBORO -- Jets coach Rex Ryan scoffed at the criticism of Bill Belichick regarding the fact that the Patriots had Rob Gronkowski on the field in the waning moments of Sunday’s 59-24 win over the Colts.

Former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to talk about the Rob Gronkowski injury situation and the Patriots' upcoming game against the Jets.

Chatham, who was a part of the Patriots' three Super Bowl-winning teams of the early 2000s, is in the camp of people with no issue with Gronkowski being on the field for a PAT in the closing minutes of Sunday's blowout win over the Colts.

FOXBORO -- For the Patriots, the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski means more responsibility will be doled out to several offensive skill position players across the board in the coming weeks.