Hernandez not at Friday practice

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick, as expected, wasn't tipping his hand on whether tight end Aaron Hernandez (ankle) would play in Sunday's road game against the Seahawks. This is consistent with how Belichick has handled situations like this in the past, as it relates to competitive advantage.

Hernandez was not present at the start of Friday's practice.

"We'll just have to see how it goes here," Belichick said Friday morning. "He practiced late last week and did some things yesterday and Wednesday. We'll see how he is today and see if it set him back, or didn't set him back, and how that went. We'll have the day to evaluate it on Saturday, and we'll see where we're at on Sunday. It could be a game-time decision."

At that point of Belichick's news conference, it sounded as if Hernandez would be, at the least, making the trip to Seattle with the team Friday.

But Belichick seemed to catch himself when he added this: "Maybe we'll know sooner, depending on what information we have today, before we leave. We'll just have to see how it goes. I don't know."

Reporters noted Friday that Hernandez had a travel bag in front of his locker. That doesn't necessarily mean that he will travel, as there have been times in the past when a player has had a travel bag in front of his locker and not made the trip.