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Friday, November 30, 2012
Hernandez: 'Can't wait' to get Gronk back

By Mike Rodak

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Asked on Friday afternoon if injured teammate Rob Gronkowski was in good spirits, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez peered over two locker stalls to his left, where Gronkowski's locker sat idle.

"Can't wait to have him back," Hernandez succinctly concluded.

Gronkowski hasn't practiced or played since suffering a broken forearm in the closing minutes of the Patriots' Nov. 18 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

But two months ago, it was Gronkowski who was standing at his locker, talking to reporters about life without Hernandez, who went down with an ankle injury in Week 2.

Other than a two-game stretch in October when Hernandez returned to game action before suffering a setback in his recovery, the team's top two tight ends haven't been on the field together since the season opener in Tennessee.

"I was hurt while he was playing, now he's hurt while I'm playing," Hernandez said on Friday. "But when we get back together, I'm sure it will be great."

The Patriots offense hasn't faltered this season, even with the injuries to both tight ends. They possess the NFL's top passing offense, and are on pace to score more points than the 2007 Patriots, who hold the Super Bowl-era record for points-per-game.

"We have so many weapons it's going to hard to stop us regardless," Hernandez said. "We have a great coach, great players and we all come to play, and that's why we have good percentages in everything."

With so much offensive firepower, Hernandez reiterated that worrying about his opponent isn't part of his playbook.

"I don't even think about the team's we're playing, we just get ready to play a game and come to play," he said.