Hernandez out for Sunday; Mankins makes trip

Hernandez out for Sunday; Mankins makes trip
October 26, 2012, 3:19 pm
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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.