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"We lost that game," Brady recalled of a 34-31 decision at Buffalo in Week 3 in which Hernandez didn't play because of a knee injury and the Patriots' attack looked markedly different from the first two weeks of that season. "We're going to have to see how it plays out. He's a great player for us and provides a lot of versatility."
What stood out from that game was how the Patriots relied heavier on their receiving corps than their preferred choice, the tight ends. ...
At the same time, the Patriots are now more equipped to retain some semblance of the multiple-tight end groupings they prefer, mainly because of the presence of just-signed 29-year-old Kellen Winslow and possibly veteran Daniel Fells, the 2012 free-agent signee who has missed the first two games with a shin injury but could be primed for a return this week.
Winslow, at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, projects into a Hernandez-type role, with the ability to line up in various spots. The question is how quickly he can get up to speed with the Patriots' system.