Patriots Place Tight End On IR Ahead Of Dolphins Game

That's now three injured tight ends for New England


Dec 27, 2022

The Patriots’ tight end room is in rough shape.

New England on Tuesday placed practice squad tight end Scotty Washington on injured reserve, leaving them with just one fully healthy player at the position.

Washington was elevated to the gameday roster for Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and played the first snaps of his NFL career after Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith left the game with knee and head injuries, respectively.

Henry avoided serious injury, per a report Monday from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, and is considered “day to day.” There have been no updates on Smith’s condition. Neither player returned to Sunday’s game, with Washington playing the Patriots’ final 22 offensive snaps and providing an assist on Jakobi Meyers’ 48-yard tip-drill touchdown catch.

New England’s only other available tight end is practice squadder Matt Sokol, who could be pressed into action if Henry and/or Smith cannot play this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. The 27-year-old Sokol has appeared in three career games and one for the Patriots, logging eight snaps on offense and one on special teams in a Week 5 win over the Detroit Lions.

“It’s a next-man-up mentality,” tight ends coach Nick Caley said Tuesday in a video conference. “Obviously, we’ll have more information as the week goes along, but we’ll hit the practice starting (Wednesday), and you get everybody prepared. I think that’s the mindset when you’re at this level and you’re on this team, especially. …

“You’ve got to approach every week as if you could play, and that’s the one thing from top to bottom, whether it’s Jonnu, whether it’s Hunter, Scotty, Matt Sokol — those guys are always preparing that way, and I’m really fortunate to have a great group of professional guys in the room that do a good job and take it seriously.”

The Patriots filled Washington’s spot on the practice squad by signing journeyman defensive back Tae Hayes. Hayes previously spent time with Jacksonville, Miami, Minnesota, Arizona and Carolina and also played in the USFL.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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