“It’s heartbreaking and sad and all my thoughts and prayers go out to all the families that were involved,” Tebow said.
He declined to answer the other two questions he was asked about Hernandez — whether he was shocked and if he had any contact with Hernandez since the shooting of Lloyd.
“I understand why you have to ask all the questions. That’s part of doing your job,” Tebow said, “and part of mine is listening to instruction and we’ve been told not to talk about it.”
Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, another college teammate with Hernandez, said he couldn’t comment after being asked two questions about Hernandez on Friday.
Belichick had said on Wednesday that “I’m not trying to make the story disappear but I respect the judicial process and been advised not to comment on on-going legal proceedings. I’m advising our players to do the same thing.”
The Patriots could start the season with problems at tight end after having the best duo in the NFL at that position.
Hernandez has been released and Rob Gronkowski, recovering from back surgery, could start the season on the physically unable to perform list, requiring him to miss the first six games.
The only tight ends who played for them last year, Michael Hoomanawanui and Daniel Fells, combined for nine catches. Jake Ballard, who missed all last season recovering from knee surgery, practiced on Friday.
Rookie Brandon Ford is trying to make the team as a free agent at that position. He was the intended receiver on a pass over the middle that Tebow overthrew and was intercepted by backup safety Nate Ebner in a 7-on-7 drill.
Tebow also took snaps in 11-on-11 drills and completed six of 11 passes and had one intercepted by defensive end Chandler Jones.