The New England Patriots have more bad injury news at the tight end position as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Aaron Hernandez will likely miss the team's OTAs and minicamp this offseason after undergoing shoulder surgery.
The Patriots began "Phase One" of their offseason program on Monday and have OTA dates scheduled for May 20-21, May 28-30, June 3-4 and June 6-7. The team's mandatory minicamp closes out their offseason program from June 11-13.
News of Hernandez's potential absence this offseason comes one week after a Boston Herald report that Rob Gronkowski may not be ready for the start of the 2013 regular season due to an infection in his twice-broken left forearm. Gronkowski is likely to require an additional surgery on the forearm, which could keep him out through the start of the regular season.
With Gronkowski and Hernandez likely on the shelf this offseason, veterans Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells, Michael Hoomanawanui and first-year player Brad Herman will get plenty of work with the first-team offense.
Hernandez should be fine for the start of the season, so there's no reason to panic. Of greater concern is Gronkowski's injury, which has put his Week 1 availability in jeopardy.