New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Sep 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (85) runs a route during the second half at against the Philadelphia Eagles Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Have tight end Hunter Henry (ankle) and tackle Trent Brown (illness) played their last game for the New England Patriots? There’s a strong chance as both players – who are set to be free agents after the season – have been ruled out for Sunday’s season finale.

Henry will miss his third game in a row after getting hurt late in the Week 14 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Prior to this three-game stretch he hadn’t missed a game in his three years in New England.


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As for Brown, he’ll miss his second game in a row, third in the last four weeks, and sixth of the season. Brown’s role has steadily decreased since Halloween as he’s dealt with injuries and illness. New reports also indicate Brown’s level of focus may have been an issue down the stretch.

With both players’ season’s now officially wrapped up, we can take an early look ahead. There is a strong argument for the Patriots bringing Henry back. Not only has he been one of their most productive pass catchers since signing in 2021 (he’s second in catches, third in yards, and first in touchdowns in that time), but also a veteran leader on the offensive side of the ball. This season, he was named a captain for the first time.

The biggest question with Henry will be whether or not he wants to come back.  At 29 years old, does he want to play for a rebuilding team on the offensive side of the ball, or join a contender and try to make a run at a title. Henry has played in just two playoff games in his eight-year NFL career – a Chargers’ Divisional Round loss to the Patriots in 2019, and the Patriots’ Wild Card loss to the Bills in 2021.

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