Patriots Sign Tight End, Henry to IR; Final Roster Moves vs. Jets

Patriots Sign Tight End, Henry to IR; Final Roster Moves vs. Jets

With just hours remaining until the curtain drops on their 2023 NFL season, the New England Patriots have ensured that at least one tight end will be under contract in 2024 on the eve of their Week 18 matchup with the New York Jets on Sunday at 1 p.m. from Gillette Stadium.

Patriots Sign Tight End, Henry to IR; Final Roster Moves vs. Jets

The Pats have signed practice squad tight end La’Michael Pettway to their 53-man roster via a two-year contract, per KPRC’s Aaron Wilson.

Pettway will replace fellow tight end Hunter Henry on the roster, as the Pats team captain has been placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury. Henry is in the final year of a three-year contract he signed with the club in the 2021 offseason. He will finish the season with 42 catches for 419 yards and six touchdowns, which led the team.

New England has also elevated tight end Matt Sokol and center Andrew Stueber for their Week 18 matchup with the Jets.

The Pats signed Pettway to their scout team in late December 2023. They had previously hosted the 26-year-old on two free agent visits — the first coming in July 2022 and the other in Nov. 2023. Pettway began his college career at Arkansas, playing three seasons under former Patriots assistant Bret Bielema from 2015-2018. He played his final collegiate season at Iowa State, where he appeared in 13 games (10 starts) and registered 55 receptions for 676 yards and six touchdowns en route to earning Honorable Mention All-Big 12 recognition.

Pettway then played two seasons in the USFL. The 6-2, 223 pound tight end most recently played for the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL and helped the team win the 2023 USFL Championship. He also played one season for the Michigan Panthers in 2022. Pettway spent the summer at training camp with the Indianapolis Colts.

Pettway’s signing currently makes him the only tight end committed to the team for next season.

Mike Gesicki signed a one-year deal with the team prior to the start of this season, while veteran Pharaoh Brown joined the 53-man roster in September via the practice squad. All three are set to hit free agency in March.

Sokol is being elevated to the active roster for the third straight week. He made his 2023 debut with limited action at tight end last week at Denver. The 28-year-old was originally claimed off waivers and awarded to New England from Detroit in May 2022. Sokol spent said season on the New England practice squad and played in three games after being elevated to the active roster. After being waived during final roster cuts prior to the start of 2023, Sokol signed with the practice squad. The 6-5, 258-pound tight end has a thorough knowledge of the Pats play book and may see notable minutes against New York.

Stueber was originally drafted by New England in the seventh-round (No. 245 overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft out of Michigan. The 6-6, 318-pound lineman spent his rookie season on the NFI List. Stueber was released at the end of training camp in 2023 and was signed to the practice squad. Sunday’s game will mark his second scout team elevation of the season.

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