Alfonzo Dennard has played his final snap of 2014. Josh Boyce is still hoping to play his first.
On Saturday evening, the New England Patriots made those plans official, placing the third-year cornerback on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, and promoting the second-year wideout from the practice squad, as Field Yates of ESPN first reported.
The moves come less than 24 hours before the Patriots will close the regular season against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.
Dennard, 25, arrived on the team’s injury report with a hamstring injury on Friday, after having been inactive since Week 14 against the San Diego Chargers. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Nebraska Cornhusker has seen fellow cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler filter ahead of him on the depth chart. And now, the 2012 seventh-round pick’s season has ended with 15 tackles and one interception over six games and four starts.
Boyce, 23, arrived on the team’s practice squad in September after spending his rookie year on the 53-man roster. The 2013 fourth-round pick returned nine kicks for 214 yards and caught nine passes for 121 yards last season, before being placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury after the conclusion of Week 17. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Texas Christian product has played in nine career games for New England, starting three.
To fill Boyce’s place on the 10-man practice squad, the Patriots announced the re-signing of cornerback Daxton Swanson and the release of defensive end Cam Henderson.
Swanson, 23, was released from the Patriots’ practice squad on Tuesday before returning on Saturday. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound cornerback originally signed with the Patriots in May, and has had four stints on the practice squad since first joining it in September. Swanson spent his rookie season between the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers after going undrafted out of Sam Houston State.
Henderson, 24, was a week into his second stint on New England’s practice squad after first signing on in September. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound edge-rusher entered the league as an undrafted rookie out of Navorro College and Central Florida in 2013. Henderson has also spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns since then.