Hernandez has not played since Week 2, when he suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He was listed as questionable last week against the Denver Broncos, but did not play.
Quarterback Tom Brady's numbers have not suffered too much as a result of Hernandez's absence. Still, the tight end was a big part of the Patriots' passing attack last season, when he caught 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touchdowns. He was the eighth-most targeted tight end in the NFL last season. Hernandez's big season earned him a six-year, $54 million extension in the offseason.
The Patriots passing game will need all of its weapons on Sunday, as they'll face off against one of the stingiest pass defenses in the league. Seattle has allowed just 192 passing yards per game so far this season.