- James Walker, ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter
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Hernandez continues to be bothered by a severe ankle sprain he suffered in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals. He returned briefly for two games, but probably came back too soon.
New England leads the NFL in total offense and can afford to rest Hernandez and get him healthy for the stretch run. After putting up career numbers in 2011, Hernandez has just 17 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns this season.
This is a big game for New England. The Patriots are 6-3 and can create further distance in the AFC East. The Colts are also 6-3 and need this game to tighten their grip on a wild-card spot in the AFC.
The New England Patriots are expected to be without dynamic tight end Aaron Hernandez for the third straight game.Barring any last-minute changes, a source tells the AFC East blog that it's "unlikely" Hernandez will play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.