Call it a sliver of progress, but one half of the dynamic Patriots tight end duo was present at the first day of mandatory minicamp yesterday.
Aaron Hernandez, recovering from an offseason shoulder scope labeled minor by some reports, went through rehabilitation work in the Dana-Farber Field House and emerged later to observe his teammates run through 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
Hernandez went through individual drills with quarterback Tom Brady on the final day of organized team activities earlier in the month. To see him at least getting a sweat after practice must have been a welcome sight to the offense with Rob Gronkowski on the shelf due to back surgery and a plethora of new weapons still adjusting to life with Brady.

“It’s doing good, feeling great, getting better and better each day,” Hernandez said of his shoulder. “I’m taking it day by day and hopefully by the end I’m ready.”
Hernandez has missed at least two regular-season games in all three of his NFL seasons. Last year, he suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Week 2 loss to Arizona and only played in 10 regular-season games, the lowest output of his career.
With no games in sight for months and with training camp a few weeks away, Hernandez is measured with how he approaches his workload.
“At the end of the day you want to be healthy for the season,” the 23-year-old said. “You don’t want to overdo it now and have it hurt you in the season. So I’m taking care of it and making sure you limit yourself and take it day by day.”
The offense, the catalyst of this team for many seasons, is not so much in a state of flux, but in a state of guesswork, considering the majority of the receiving corps from a year ago is not on the roster.