Game plan on Hernandez: Wait and see

David Butler II/US Presswire

Aaron Hernandez is nursing a knee injury.How will the Patriots alter their offense without tight end Aaron Hernandez? Members of coach Bill Belichick's staff wouldn't tip their hands Tuesday and said it was too early to tell how the team will compensate.

"We’re in the process of game-planning right now," said offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. "We’re going to head out to practice [Wednesday], start putting in the game plan and go from there."

Patriots personnel director Nick Caserio suggested that, whether Hernandez was healthy or not, the Patriots game plan would be built around attacking the weakness of that next opponent.

"I think it’s really specific to the opponent that we’re playing," said Caserio. "We look at the players that we have on our team and we figure out the best way to attack that particular [opponent], whether it’s multiple tight ends, multiple receivers, multiple running backs, whatever the case may be. We’ll prepare like we do every week. The game plan isn’t even in yet. We haven’t even started practicing, so we don’t even exactly know where we’re going to be come Sunday, so we’ll take it one day at a time. Once we have all the information at our expense, we’ll do what we feel is best for the team."

Playing without Hernandez last year in Buffalo when the rookie missed the final two games of the regular season due to a hip injury, the Patriots still leaned heavy on a two-tight end, two-wide receiver formation, simply ramping up the role of third string tight end Alge Crumpler.