The New England Patriots may have received some good news about the severity of Aaron Hernandez's right ankle injury, but they still aren't playing it safe.
The team has agreed to terms with veteran tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. on a one-year deal, CBSSports.com's Michael Freeman has confirmed. ESPN.com first reported the story.
Winslow worked out for the Patriots in early September but questions about the health of his right knee, which has been operated on multiple times, led them to sign Michael Hoomanawanui.
But New England is now hoping that the 29-year-old Winslow, who caught 75 passes for 763 yards and two touchdowns last season with Tampa Bay, can stay upright until Halloween when Hernandez should be back from a right ankle injury, which may not be as serious as initially believed.
It was first reported that Hernandez suffered a high-ankle sprain during Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, but the injury is now being classified as a low, or common, sprain, according to a source.
The difference between the injuries is more than just location. High-ankle sprains typically take six weeks to heal, while a common sprain typically heals a little faster.
Hernandez will not play this week against the Baltimore Ravens and could still miss up to four weeks recovering, though it could take longer depending on how he responds to treatment.
The tight end suffered the injury in the first quarter of Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals on the third play of the game when blocking for wide receiver Julian Edelman. He left the stadium on crutches, wearing a walking boot.
Hernandez made 79 catches for 910 yards with seven touchdowns last season.
Nick Underhill covers the Patriots for MassLive.com. Follow him on Twitter @CBSPats or@nick_underhill.