New England activated Visanthe Shiancoe as a potential replacement for Hernandez against the Bills on Sunday. Shiancoe has yet to play a game this season for the Patriots but had 36 receptions for 409 yards and three touchdowns for the Minnesota Vikings last season.
Hernandez has missed four games this season including a 45-7 win over the St. Louis Rams Oct. 28. Hernandez missed three consecutive weeks from Sept. 23 to Oct. 7 before returning in Weeks 6 and 7. Hernandez has 17 receptions for 143 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season.
New England's passing attack is averaging 291.1 yards per game, which ranks fifth in the league. The Patriots are 5-3 this season and in first place in the AFC East division, one game ahead of the 4-4 Miami Dolphins.