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.
Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.
Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game.
Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s.
With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.
Thursday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Zach Brown (illness)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
G Richie Incognito (illness)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
S Aaron Williams (neck)
DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)
T Seantreal Henderson (back)
OFF THE LIST
LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)