Hernandez out for Sunday; Mankins makes trip

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Hernandez out for Sunday; Mankins makes trip

LONDON - Tight end Aaron Hernandez did not travel to London for Sunday's game against the Rams, according to a source.

News that the third-year tight end was not in London was initially reported by Albert Breer of the NFL Network.

While Hernandez is not here, the Patriots will have the services of left guard Logan Mankins. Mankins missed last Sunday's game against the Jets with calf and hip injuries.

His replacement, Donald Thomas played pretty well in his absence but it's always better for the Patriots to have the nastiness of Mankins in their lineup.

The Rams have a very good front with two young players - Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers - at defensive end and tackle.

Hernandez is - when healthy - the hub around which the Patriots offense was designed to spin. After injuring his ankle in the season's second game, he has been serviceable but less than his normal self, especially after the catch and in pursuing balls a little outside his catching radius.

With Hernandez down, it could mean some shuffling of personnel. Rob Gronkowski tried to fill the multiple voids Hernandez' absence left when Hernandez went down in 2012, but Hernandez' package may be too big to handle with just one player. Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui - two former Rams under Josh McDaniels - will be in the tight end mix as well.

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.