FOXBORO -- The news of Kellen Winslow's release may be a sign that Aaron Hernandez's injured left ankle is making progress.
On Thursday, Hernandez walked around the Patriots locker room barefoot and without any kind of noticeable limp. He missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday, however, and he will likely need more time before he's running and cutting.
Still, no boot, no limp. Both good signs for the Patriots.
Here are a few other quick observations from Thursday's media session:
Trevor Scott has been busy lining up ticket requests as he gets ready to head to Buffalo this weekend. The defensive end was born in Potsdam, New York and played his college ball at the University of Buffalo. Scott said he was a Giants fan growing up, but many of his friends are "die hard" Bills fans. In college, he got to first hand the passion with which the entire city of Buffalo follows its teams.
"The Bills or the Sabres, every time those guys are playing," Scott said, "they're pretty rowdy about it."
Patriots players preparing to face Harvard-educated Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick were asked to name the smartest players in New England's locker room.
Rob Ninkovich went with Rob Gronkowski.
"Mathematics, if I have anything going wrong with my car, Gronkowski fixes it right away," Ninkovich said with a smile.
Matthew Slater went with his old roommate: center Ryan Wendell.
"He knows a little bit about everything," Slater said. "Go visit with him. You'll see he's a bright guy."
Gillette Stadium caterers wore black-and-white striped shirts today. Perhaps a statement that they're happy to see the NFL's officials returning to work? Maybe, but probably not.