Pouncey: Talk with grand jury no distraction

Updated: December 13, 2013, 2:12 PM ET

James Walker | ESPN.com

Davie, Fla. — Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey returned to practice Friday following his trip to Massachusetts to talk to investigators about the Aaron Hernandez case.

Hernandez, who remains jailed on first-degree murder charge and several other charges, is a friend and former college teammate of Pouncey’s at the University of Florida.

Pouncey declined to talk specifics about his meeting. But he acknowledged the situation will not impact his play Sunday when Miami (7-6) hosts the New England Patriots (10-3) in a game with big playoff implications.

“It wasn’t a distraction at all,” Pouncey said. “We’re all professional football players. It’s something that I had to go handle. I’m here with my football team, so I’m happy.”

Pouncey was subpoenaed by Massachusetts authorities following their Oct. 27 loss to the Patriots in Foxborough. Pouncey clarified that he made the trip to Massachusetts on Wednesday and was back with the Dolphins on Thursday.

It’s been a rough year for Pouncey. He wore a controversial “Free Hernandez” hat over the summer that caused national headlines. Pouncey also had a lengthy talk with NFL lead investigator Ted Wells about the Jonathan MartinRichie Incognito bullying scandal. In addition, Pouncey recently had a stomach illness that caused him to miss two games and lose 15 pounds.

“It hasn’t affected my play on the football field at all, so I guess that’s kept me sane,” Pouncey said. “The guys in the locker room have been phenomenal just getting me through this year.”

  • A Temple graduate and Hyattsville, Md., native who lives in Miami
  • Joined ESPN in 2008

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