Patriots add 2 new defenders to the mix as they get ready for the Jets
The New England Patriots have added a pair of new faces to the team as they prepare for a massive Week 3 showdown with the New York Jets.
Two mystery players appeared at Thursday’s Patriots practice in Foxboro, wearing Nos. 35 and 42. One of them is veteran cornerback Breon Borders, whose agency, Exclusive Sports Group, announced on X that he’d signed with New England.
Borders, 28, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons. The Patriots mark his 12th (!!!) team that he’s spent time with at some point. He’s been activated for games with the Bills, Jaguars, Commanders, Titans, Cardinals, and Bears. He was most recently with the Atlanta Falcons in the 2023 preseason.
Borders was unavailable for the first two weeks of the 2023 regular season due to a two-game suspension under the NFL’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Under league rules, Borders got his suspension after testing positive for a “stimulant, diuretic or masking agent.” The more commonly known six-game PED suspension is for anabolic steroids.
According to Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald, the other new signing is rookie defensive back Azizi Hearn, who played college ball at Arizona, Wyoming, and most recently as a transfer at UCLA. Both Hearn and Borders are practice squad signings.
Hearn spent 2023 training camp with the Las Vegas Raiders, but was waived during final roster cuts. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if some intel from Josh McDaniels helped the Patriots decide to bring Hearn in. Hearn’s draft profile at NFL.com described him as a guy who may have to move from cornerback to safety to be effective at the pro level.
Ideally, neither Borders nor Hearn have to play any time soon. If that happens, the Patriots are likely dealing with major injury problems in the secondary. They should be more more than scout team depth.
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