FOXBORO, Mass. — Two days after Hunter Henry missed the first game of his Patriots tenure, New England beefed up the depth chart behind him.

Head coach Bill Belichick confirmed Wednesday morning that the Patriots signed tight end La’Michael Pettway to their practice squad. In explaining the move, Belichick mentioned the knee injury that kept Henry out of Sunday’s night’s thrilling road win over the Denver Broncos.

“We’ll see how it looks,” Belichick said in a news conference. “We’ve worked (Pettway) out a couple times during the year. Hunter hasn’t practiced, didn’t practice last week. We’ll see what his availability is. Mike (Gesicki) and Pharaoh (Brown) are playing a lot of football. So, a good chance to take a look at him.”

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Henry suffered a knee injury during the Patriots’ Week 15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. He sat out two practices last week and was limited in another, according to the team’s injury report, and did not make the trip to Denver.

Gesicki and Brown played 38 and 27 offensive snaps in his absence, respectively, and both made key contributions in the passing game, combining for four catches on four targets for 40 yards and a touchdown. Gesicki scored the touchdown and added a clutch 4-yard completion to set up Chad Ryland’s game-winning 56-yard field goal.

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Elevated practice squadder Matt Sokol logged 10 snaps in the win, all as a run blocker. Henry’s DNP snapped a streak of 48 consecutive appearances that began when he signed with the Patriots in 2021.

Pettway, who spent time with the Indianapolis Colts this preseason, has yet to make his regular-season NFL debut. He played two seasons in the USFL after a college career split between Iowa State and Arkansas. His head coach at Arkansas was Bret Bielema, a former Patriots assistant.

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The 4-11 Patriots will visit the 9-6 Buffalo Bills this Sunday in the penultimate game of their 2023 season. Belichick shortened the team’s Wednesday practice and moved it indoors, saying New England’s rash of injuries was “definitely a factor” in the schedule change.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images