Hernandez Probably Wasn’t Suspended Against Hawai’i

Starting TE Aaron Hernandez missed the game against Hawai’i, and the only “explanation” Urban Meyer gave was that he wasn’t ready to play. Over and over he’s assured everyone that when #81 is ready, he’ll play.

Getting information about suspensions and injuries out of Meyer is often harder than getting information about the unreleased new line of iPods out of Apple. He likes to handle discipline issues behind closed doors and generally would rather not give opposing coaches hints about injuries.

Meyer has been unusually glib about his banged up players, saying Monday that Harvin and Spikes are probable and that Jim Tartt is questionable for Saturday’s contest with Miami. Perhaps for that reason, many people have speculated that Hernandez missed the Hawai’i game due to an undisclosed suspension.

I didn’t think it was because of an arrest. By now, I’m sure every major press outlet in the state has been poring over recent arrest records in Gainesville and Alachua County searching for his name. It would have had to be something like slacking in practice, missing class, or a variety of other no-nos that aren’t illegal but are generally frowned upon by college coaches.

Turns out, it may not have been a suspension like everyone assumed. Someone at the Orlando Sentinel got in contact with Hernandez’s high school coach, and he said that Hernandez’s family told him that Aaron was held out because of a nagging injury of some sort. With other players being shelved for that reason, it makes sense.

Why would Meyer be all hush-hush about a relatively low-profile player like Hernandez but talk all day about his stars’ injury status? I don’t know. The guy puzzles me from time to time. The good news is that it’s not a character issue, and hopefully the nagging will go away. Having big #81 in the game creates many enticing mismatches all over the field.

UPDATE

Hernandez is a “full go” for Saturday, and as a bonus, Harvin thinks he’ll be ready too though he’s at “not full go.” In normal terms, that still means “probable.”

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