If prosecutors are right, Aaron hernandez killed two people just weeks before heading back to Patriots training camp. Hernandez hasn’t been proven guilty of anything, but if you were to assume he actually did shoot and kill Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado in the South End on July 16, 2012, did it affect his performance on the field?
Here are Hernandez’s stats for the 2012 season:
DateOpponentResultReceptionsYardsTouchdownsSept. 9@TENW 34-136591Sept. 16ARIL 20-18000Sept. 23@BALL 31-30DNPDNPDNPSept. 30@BUFW 52-28DNPDNPDNPOct. 7DENW 31-21DNPDNPDNPOct. 14@SEAL 24-236301Oct. 21NYJW 29-265540Oct. 28@STL (London)W 45-7DNPDNPDNPBYEBYEBYEBYEBYEBYENov. 11BUFW 37-31DNPDNPDNPNov. 18INDW 59-24DNPDNPDNPNov. 22@NYJW 49-192360Dec. 2@MIAW 23-168970Dec. 10HOUW 42-148522Dec. 16SFL 41-3410921Dec. 23@JAXW 23-161130Dec. 30MIAW 28-05440Jan. 13HOU (AFC Divisional)W 41-286850Jan. 20BAL (AFC Championship)L 28-139830
That’s an off year by his standards, but there are multiple factors that could explain the dropoff that don’t involve a guilty conscience. Hernandez was injured for part of the year, missing games and getting fewer snaps in others. He was also used as a decoy in some games, which freed up other players to earn gaudier stats and touchdowns.
Speculation can be fun, but any connection between two murders and on-field performance would be a stretch at best.