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Flurry of Roster Moves in Foxboro

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New England Patriots OT Conor McDermott

The New England Patriots made several roster moves in advance of their Sunday night game against the Denver Broncos. There were rulings, elevations, delegations, and signings on Saturday. A look at how everything winds up in the end. A look at how everything shook out for the Patriots.

Henry Ruled Out

New England ruled Hunter Henry out for Sunday’s game. Henry played in all 49 games for the Patriots since joining the team in 2021. His 42 receptions and six receiving touchdowns in 2023 are both tops on the team. In the past two weeks Henry has amassed 10 receptions fro 106 yards and three touchdowns. Henry left the game against Kansas City last Sunday due to the injury. Henry will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Two Practice Squad Elevations

The Patriots elevated two practice squad players for Sunday’s game. New England TE Matt Sokol and DB Breon Borders will be in uniform against the Broncos.

Matt Sokol was with the New England Patriots in 2022. He appeared in three games but did not record any offensive statistics. He played in two NFL games with the Chargers in 2020. The Patriots waived Sokol during the final cuts coming out of training camp. He signed back the practice squad days later. Sunday is Sokol’s first elevation of 2023. The 28-year old tight end has a chance to leave an impression with the three players ahead of him on the depth chart all heading toward free agency in the offseason. Hunter Henry’s absence necessitated the move.

Borders signed with New England’s practice squad in September. This is his first elevation of the season. Breon Borders played in 32 NFL games to date. He has previously played for the Bills, Jaguars, Commanders, Cardinals, Titans, and Bears. New England ruled safety Jabrill Peppers out against Denver. They listed CB Jonathan Jones as questionable. Borders provides needed depth in the defensive backfield.

McDermott Done for 2023

The Patriots delegated Conor McDermott to the reserve/injured list, ending his 2023 campaign. The offensive tackle suffered a concussion against the Chiefs. McDermott started the final six games of 2022 at right tackle for New England. He was placed on season-ending IR prior to the start of this season with an undisclosed injury. However, after being cleared to play McDermott reached an injury settlement with the Patriots. He then signed with New England’s practice squad before eventually being added to the 53-man roster. He played in six games this season, largely as an injury replacement for Trent Brown at left tackle.

McDermott is the thirteenth New England Patriots player currently on IR. He joins:

OT Calvin Anderson
CB Isaiah Bolden
WR Kendrick Bourne
DL Daniel Ekuale
CB Christian Gonzalez
CB Marcus Jones
LB Matthew Judon
LB Raekwon McMillan
WR Tre Nixon
OL Riley Reiff
OG Cole Strange
OL Tyrone Wheatley, Jr.

Ferentz Signed to 53-man Roster

With offensive lineman Conor McDermott being lost for the season, the Patriots replaced his spot from within. Practice squad OL James Ferentz has been signed to the 53-man roster. Ferentz began his career with the Broncos in 2015. He played two seasons for Denver, collecting a Super Bowl ring as a rookie. He spent the entire 2017 season on the Patriots practice squad, not appearing in any NFL games. Ferentz played two games for New England in 2018 and won his second Super Bowl.

James Ferentz has been with the New England Patriots for seven seasons, including his year exclusively on the practice squad. He has appeared in 40 NFL games, including six starts, at guard and center. He has yet to play in 2023. Ferentz is one of ten Patriots players on the 2023 roster that helped with the Super Bowl with the 2018 squad. The others are David Andrews, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Trent Brown, Joe Cardona, Lawrence Guy, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Matthew Slater, and Deatrich Wise.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

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