Aaron Hernandez could miss OTAs and minicamp in the coming weeks after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this offseason, according to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who heard from two sources that the Patriotstight end will be ready for training camp in late July.
This development comes less than a week after New England's other big-play tight end, Rob Gronkowski, delayed surgery on his forearm, which could lead to him missing the early part of the 2013 season.
The rash of injuries could explain the organization's decision to pursue Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in restricted free agency, and the Patriots could choose to add pass catchers in the NFL Draft later this month. As it stands, the depth chart at tight end beyond Hernandez and Gronkowski includes Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomanawanui and Daniel Fells. At wide receiver there are free-agent acquisitions Danny Amendola, Michael Jenkins and Donald Jones along with recently re-signed Julian Edelman.
In 10 games last season, Hernandez, who signed a five-year contract extension in August, had 51 receptions for 483 yards and five touchdowns.