The Patriots have been playing without their tight end tandem for two weeks. That will likely change on Sunday.

We should come up with a cool, catchy name for this post. Maybe “How your team is slowly dying,” or “This is the sound of bones and muscles snapping.”

Yeah, let’s just stick with Injury Talk.

Yesterday Vincent Jackson led our meandering through NFL training rooms in picture form, and his playing status was still uncertain after he missed practice Wednesday and Thursday. That sentence set you up for the startling revelation to come below…

1. Jackson will play, and Norv Turner said his time on the field will at the very least equal his Week 4 workload when he played 22 snaps and finished with 108 receiving yards and a touchdown against Miami.

2. Aaron Hernandez practiced again Friday and seems to be on track to play Sunday. He’s still listed as questionable after missing the last two weeks with a knee injury, and the time off has really improved his ability to communicate coherently with Boston beat reporters. Albert Haynesworth also made it trough a full practice for the second straight day, but Danny Woodhead didn’t make an appearance. Stevan Ridley could become a sneaky fantasy play.

3. Rashard Mendenhall returned to practice Friday, but fantasy owners and annoying Steelers bandwagoners shouldn’t get too excited.  He was only a limited participant, and he’s now been slapped with that dirty game-time decision tag. The odds of an Isaac Redman sighting in Pittsburgh’s backfield to start Sunday’s game just increased.

4. Just Tuck is still a mess with both groin and neck injuries, and he had a setback Thursday at practice. It looks like he’ll be shut down until after the Giants’ Week 7 bye, an absence New York can sustain since Jason Pierre-Paul is rolling with 4.5 sacks.

5. Staying in New York, Giants running back Brandon Jacobs reportedly has a sprained MCL, meaning more carries will be landing in Ahmad Bradshaw’s hands.

6. Andre Johnson spoke to people with recorders, cameras, and note pads in some kind of organized meeting, and said he’ll be back “in a couple of weeks.”

7. Yesterday Gagnon wrote at length about how those mean Lions defenders will be infused with even more burning rage shortly with the imminent return of Nick Fairley. I’m glad he didn’t waste his time, because Fairley is still progressing smoothly towards playing this weekend after participating in team drills for the first time today since injuring his left foot in early August.

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