NFL.com and NFL Network's Albert Breer reported Thursday that Hernandez is a virtual certainty to miss Sunday's game, but he might be available for the Patriots' Week 6 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, according to a source apprised of his medical condition.
Hernandez suffered a low ankle sprain and high ankle damage during a blocking assignment in Week 2. According to Breer, making it back in four weeks would represent what was considered the best-case scenario for Hernandez's recovery timetable.
Hernandez is a versatile threat who allows the Patriots to carve up the middle of defenses in their deadly two-tight end sets. Of course, Tom Brady and Co. just finished hanging a 50-burger on the Buffalo Bills without Hernandez in the mix, so try to choke back those tears if at all possible.
UPDATE: Hernandez was spotted practicing Thursday during a portion that was open to the media. So was fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has been nursing an ailing hip.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.