The Patriots are three weeks and two days away from visiting the Vikings, who currently have a top-10 scoring offense. And the Thanksgiving Night matchup just got even tougher for New England’s defense.
Minnesota on Tuesday acquired Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson in a trade with the Detroit Lions. The Vikings, who also will receive a pair of future fourth-round picks, sent a 2023 second-rounder and 2024 third-rounder to Detroit.
Hockenson was a first-round pick in 2019 and has 26 catches for 395 yards and three touchdowns through seven games this season. The 6-1 Vikings currently own the second-best record in the NFC standings.
The Patriots already have faced Hockenson this season and did a good job of bottling up the athletic tight end.
Hockenson only caught one ball for six yards on four targets in the Lions’ Week 5 loss at Gillette Stadium. The quiet performance represented Hockenson’s fewest catches and yards since Week 10 of last season.
The Patriots are fresh off a 22-17 win over the New York Jets at Gilette Stadium. Despite a chaotic start to the season, New England has a good chance of holding a playoff spot by the end of Week 9.
Bill Belichick’s team will look to move to 5-4 when it hosts the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday afternoon.