New England Patriots blocking tight end Michael Hoomanawanui suffered a knee injury in the team’s close Week 12 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, and he was inactive during yesterday’s impressive, overtime win over the Denver Broncos. It’s been a disappointing season for Hooman, who took a paycut in order to remain on the team’s 53-man roster following cuts to Jake Ballard and fellow veteran, blocking TE Daniel Fells.
Both Fells and Hoomanawanui received some nice playing time last season, and both impressed as blocking TEs in the Pats scheme last season. In fact, both players were instrumental in the Pats rushing attack and helped bring some scheme flexibility to the offense as two of the league’s best blocking tight ends.
Hooman’s 2013 campaign has been a far cry from where he was last year, and I’m not going to mince words by saying that he’s been a big disappointment this season. It’s been a disappointing year for him, as he has made errors he simply didn’t make last season. His run blocking and pass protection have left a lot to be desired, but there’s still hope that a solid, usually reliable blocking TE such as himself will pull it together some time before the playoffs.
The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reports that Hooman is “week to week” with a mild knee sprain, and it will be interesting to see if he plays in this week’s game against the Houston Texans. I doubt he does, since the Texans are in such awful shape that there’s no rush to bring back anyone too soon. Plus, fellow blocking TE Matthew Mulligan has played better than Hooman this season, so there’s no rush for the Patriots to bring him back this week off of a knee sprain. He’ll likely come down to a game-time decision, and I would be surprised if he misses the Week 14 game against the Cleveland Browns.