By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — When the Patriots signed Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith on consecutive days to start free agency, the team was flush with tight ends.

Now in mid-August, the Patriots are suddenly short at the position.

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With Troy Fumagalli absent for Tuesday’s joint practice session with the Eagles, the team was left without its top four players at the tight end spot.

Henry remains out as he recovers from a minor shoulder injury, while Smith is dealing with a foot/ankle injury suffered during Sunday’s practice in Foxboro. Matt LaCosse suffered an injury on Monday, after taking a hit to the head from Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett.

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Dalton Keene, a third-round pick in 2020, was placed on injured reserve earlier in August.

The rash of health issues at the position has left the Patriots with just second-year tight end Devin Asiasi and fullback Jakob Johnson available for practice on Tuesday — and, possibly, Thursday night’s preseason game in Philadelphia.

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UPDATE: To get the roster down to 85, the Patriots released Fumagalli on Tuesday.

CBSBoston.com Staff