The Patriots activated Visanthe Shiancoe to the 53-man roster earlier Saturday, a hint Hernandez's status was in doubt. Hernandez was limited in practice this week and was one of 14 Patriots listed as questionable for the game against the Bills.
Hernandez suffered a low ankle sprain in Week 2. He returned to the lineup in Week 6, playing in two games before the team opted to leave him home when they traveled abroad to beat up on the St. Louis Rams.
Hernandez didn't look quite right in the game action he did see, another possible reason why the Patriots have seemingly reversed course with their versatile playmaker.
UPDATE: Breer reports Hernandez's injury is not a new one, but the tight end came back too quickly from the old one. Hernandez's sprained ankle, which had some high ankle damage, was diagnosed as a four-to-six-week injury and he returned after four weeks. If the tight end is able to play next week against the Indianapolis Colts, it would be an additional four weeks since he saw game action.
The Patriots later officially ruled out Hernandez.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.