By Jack Spencer

In the wake of the Aaron Hernandez arrest and subsequent release from the New England Patriots earlier this summer, speculation surrounding which player on the Patriots roster would fill his role in the team’s offense this season. Many believed that the player who might benefit the most from the loss of Hernandez would be former New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard. It now appears as if Ballard might not even make the team’s final roster.

According to beat writer Ben Volin on Twitter, Ballard appears still in camp and shouldn’t be considered a lock for the roster.

“Watching Ballard in OTA’s, hard not to notice he looked a little stiff. Don’t think he’s a lock for the 53, even with TE issues.” Several other reports this summer suggest that Ballard might not be all the way recovered from his ACL injury.

It was already reasonably argued by many pundits that Ballard would not be able to totally replace Hernandez’s production based on the fact that he is no where near as athletic as Hernandez was. Fantasy football owners should monitor this situation and most likely look elsewhere for a tight end that will produce.

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