May 27, 2024

Hunter Henry will be absent from the Patriots’ Christmas Eve game against the Denver Broncos, marking the first time he has missed a game since joining New England in 2021.

This absence has prompted the elevation of tight end Matt Sokol and cornerback Breon Borders from the practice squad, as reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN. Notably, this marks the first elevation of the season for both players.

Matt Sokol - Football - Michigan State University Athletics

To clarify, the Patriots had to deal with multiple players being ruled out for the Week 16 matchup at Empower Field. This list includes Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle), safety Jabrill Peppers (hamstring), wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (ankle), tackle Conor McDermott (concussion), and Hunter Henry (knee). Consequently, the team made several moves on Saturday, including promoting Sokol and Borders.

Breon Borders

Sokol, who has spent the last two seasons on the Patriots’ practice squad, is anticipated to join the tight end rotation alongside Mike Gesicki and Pharaoh Brown. They face the challenge of filling the void left by Henry, who had become a reliable target for Bailey Zappe in recent weeks.

As for Borders, a seasoned player with experience on 12 teams over seven seasons, he aims to contribute to a defensive rotation that heavily relied on Alex Austin playing all of the Patriots’ defensive snaps against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15.

The Patriots and Broncos are scheduled to kick off their game on Sunday at 8:15 p.m. ET.

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