5 New England Patriots players who need to have a bounce-back season in 2023

  • Can Kendrick Bourne revert to his 2021 season?
  • Will Mac Jones show why he is the quarterback of the future in New England?
  • How will Hunter Henry become a dominant fixture of the offense again?
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Hunter Henry

2022 stats:

  • 41/59 receptions
  • 509 yards (12.4 avg Y/R)
  • 2 touchdowns

Another name signed during the iconic 2021 free agency spree, the Patriots found the tight end they had been looking for in former Charger Hunter Henry. He was a player that Belichick had had his eye on since Henry was in college, and it just took a handful of years to finally get him to New England.

Much like Kendrick Bourne, there was limited excitement regarding Henry's arrival, primarily due to his injury history. But he put those concerns to rest when he had the best season of his career and became the go-to red zone target, scoring nine touchdowns that year.

He was exactly what the offense needed, especially since the Jonnu Smith signing didn't pan out according to plan, and there were high hopes he would build upon his performance the following season.

But just like the rest of the Patriots' offense, Henry's performance suffered in 2022 as well.

The first month of the season, he was almost an invisible piece of the team. What had been a fixture of the game plan just a year before became an afterthought for most watching. Eventually, Henry explained his slow start, citing it was due to a shoulder injury he sustained the season before and had surgery to repair during the offseason.

As the weeks went on, he looked more like the player he was in his first season as a Patriot, as he was more involved in the offense each and every week. Despite the effort to include him more in the game plans, Henry could still not be the dominant weapon he had been for Jones and ended the season with just two touchdowns.

With the upcoming season just around the corner, expectations are high for Henry and new Patriots tight end Mike Gesicki to potentially become an unstoppable duo within the evolving offense under Bill O'Brien.

They have performed well all summer, and there doesn't appear to be anything slowing Henry down, leaving little to no reason for him not to return to his 2021 performance this year.