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Patriots sign blocking tight end who played for Harvard; place linebacker on season-ending IR




Firkser, who played at Harvard from 2013-16, played last season for the Atlanta Hawks.

Firkser reeled in nine catches for 100 yards last season with the Hawks. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

The Patriots are bolstering their tight end depth chart with another talent with collegiate ties to the region.

New England announced on Thursday that it signed tight end Anthony Firkser, with the 28-year-old joining a personnel grouping that also includes NFL regulars in Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki.

In a corresponding move, the Patriots announced that they placed linebacker Raekwon McMillan on injured reserve. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, McMillan suffered a partial tear of his Achilles at one of the Patriots’ OTA practices. 

McMillan, 27, appeared in all 16 games for the Patriots last season, recording 35 tackles as a depth linebacker.


McMillan has had some unfortunate injury luck so far in his NFL career, missing the entire 2017 and 2021 seasons due to ACL tears. He also landed on season-ending IR back in 2019 due to a hamstring injury.

Firkser, who played at Harvard from 2013-16, played last season for the Atlanta Hawks. In 11 games with Atlanta, he reeled in nine catches for 100 yards. He spent the previous four seasons with the Titans.

Even though it’s to be expected that both Henry and Gesicki will earn a hefty amount of snaps in 2023, Firkser excelled last season as a blocking tight end. Firkser’s Pro Football Focus pass blocking grade of 80.3 ranked ninth overall among NFL tight ends in 2022.

He may not be much of a receiving threat, but Firkser burned New England in what stood as Tom Brady’s final game as a Patriot back on Jan. 4, 2020.

During New England’s 20-13 loss to the Titans in the AFC Wild Card game, Firkser reeled in a touchdown from Ryan Tannehill while also picking up a key third-down conversion in the fourth quarter.

Source: Boston Globe


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