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Patriots.com News Blitz - 4/17/2013

Posted Apr 17, 2013

The Patriots.com News Blitz gets you up to date with the latest news from local and national media.

Greg A. Bedard of The Boston Globe reports that Aaron Hernandez's offseason shoulder surgery was a "minor scope," and that the Patriots' tight end could potentially be ready for June mini-camp.

"If this was the season, Hernandez would be ready on a much quicker time schedule, writes Bedard. "Since it's the offseason, there's absolutely no rush to get him back on the field."

Marc Sessler of NFL.com writes that the 2013 regular season schedule is set to be released on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET. NFL.com and NFL Network will air special coverage to reveal this year's matchups.

"We know for certain that the Baltimore Ravens will, indeed, open their 2013 campaign on the road in the NFL's kickoff game," adds Sessler. "We also have a list of each team's home and away opponents, but the fun behind the schedule release is discovering who your favorite team opens and closes with -- and where critical division matchups fall."

Check back to Patriots.com on Thursday night for all the information regarding the Patriots 2013 regular season schedule.

Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald writes that the Patriots still have high hopes for tight end Jake Ballard in the wake of offseason rehab for Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. It remains to be seen what type of impact the former-Giant will have on the Patriots' offense following his devastating knee injury suffered in Super Bowl XLVI.

"Since their offense so heavily relies upon tight ends these days, the Pats could again kick the tires on Dallas Clark or give Kellen Winslow a second chance," writes Howe. "Or if there’s real concern over the string of recent injuries to Gronkowski and Hernandez, the Pats could make a play for the draft’s top two prospects, Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert or Stanford’s Zach Ertz, in the first round."

Jeff Howe also reports that the Patriots have discussed trading RB Jeff Demps, according to his agent Daniel Rose.

"Obviously, teams like to make trades before the draft, so this thing could happen quickly if they find a suitor," adds Howe. "The question is his value on the trade market, since Demps is also continuing his track career and has mentioned it could even cut into his football season."

ESPNBoston.com writes that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady posted the following message on Facebook regarding Monday's tragedy at the Boston Marathon:

"My heart is saddened by the tragic events of yesterday in my hometown of Boston. My prayers are with all of the victims and their families."