FOXBORO -- Aaron Hernandez said Monday night he's confident the Patriots tight ends will be able to pick up the slack in the wake of Rob Gronkowski's arm injury, which likely will have the big tight end on the sidelines for the next 4-8 weeks.
"The way this program is, the way [coach] Bill [Belichick] makes us become the players we become, we all have confidence and we all know we have to come to play every game, regardless," Hernandez said after practice on Monday. "And in the NFL, people go down and other people have to step up.
"Everyone has to step up and make plays, and follow the game plan. I'm sure we'll be all right," he added. "Obviously, it's tough. Obviously, he's one of the best players in the league. But, we have a lot of players, and everyone has to step up to fill the void."
Hernandez, who hasn't been 100 percent since he suffered an ankle injury in a Week 2 loss to the Cardinals, has been close to returning the last few weeks but has yet to play in a game since an Oct. 21 win over the Jets in Foxboro. His return certainly would be a boost for the New England offense, particularly with Gronkowski on the sideline.
The 23-year-old, who has 17 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns on the year, said Monday he's "feeling pretty good," but he doesn't buy into the idea that with Gronkowski on the shelf, that puts more pressure on him to get back on the field sooner.
"It puts pressure on everybody. Not just one player can just replace him. Everyone has to step up," he said. "It'll change some things, [but] like I said, everyone will have to step up. And whatever the change is, we have to make plays and fill that void we'll be missing.
"We have a lot of great players. Like I said a couple of times already, people have to step up because we're going to be missing a great player. Everyone has to step up that much more."
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We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price recap the first day of Patriots training camp, including Rob Gronkowski's return to the field.
Chris Price of WEEI.com joins the guys to discuss the key position battles going into camp, as well as the contract status of Devin McCourty
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Texas Rangers General Manager, Jon Daniels, joins Rob Bradford and Alex Speier to discuss the upcoming trade deadline.
A full version of the Trade Deadline show hosted by Rob Bradford and Alex Speier. Featuring an interview with Texas Rangers GM, Jon Daniels.
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Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
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Given the recent Ray Rice suspension, many people are comparing it to Josh Gordon getting suspended for repeated drug abuse. Tim Benz doesn't think this is a fair comparison. He explains why.
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EA Sports released its QB ratings for Madden 15, placing Tom Brady tied for 4th with Russell Wilson. The discussion quickly shifted to Christian's Madden ratings and his perceived lack of awareness
We check in with the manager of the local nine to get his take on the Sox recent hot run, the performance of the pitching staff and much more.
We discuss Sidney Rice's retirement from the NFL, and the greater issue, which is concussions and head injuries in the NFL.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.
With Training Camp starting this Thursday and the August Draft Season inching closer, Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are ramping up the Fantasy Football content to meet the demand! Today’s podcast gives an in depth look at Pete’s Top 50 Wide Receivers Article that is LIVE on WEEI.com right now. Pete breaks down the receivers by Tiers and the podcast gives full analysis of those Tiers and the players who occupy these spots and why. Get prepared for your drafts and enjoy!
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