It’s been a tough off-season for quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots when it comes to their receiving corps.
First they lost Wes Welker to free agency and then their Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski had an infection in his broken forearm causing doctors to put him under the knife for a third time.
Now comes word from ESPN.com via the NFL Network that tight end Aaron Hernandez had shoulder surgery earlier this off-season.
He is expected to return by the beginning of training camp in July but will miss all activities leading up to that point.
At 23 years old Hernandez gives the Pats a rare offensive combo that has him and Gronkowski setting records.
But both have had struggles with injuries.
Gronkowski famously hurt his ankle before the Super Bowl in 2011 and was not himself for the big game. ESPN reports a fourth forearm surgery is likely and analysts doubt he will be ready for the beginning of the season.
Hernandez, on the other hand, missed six games last season with an ankle injury.
Even with the recent signing of wide receiver Danny Amendola from the St. Louis Rams, the Patriots have a depleted amount of receiving options.
At tight end it’s even worse, with Hernandez rehabbing in California.
Signed with New England through 2018, remains to be seen whether the team plans to make a move.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.