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Patriots sign cornerbacks Breon Borders, Azizi Hearn to practice squad

New England’s practice squad included two openings.

Cleveland Browns v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have added two layers to the cornerback depth chart.

Veteran Breon Borders and rookie Azizi Hearn agreed to terms with the organization’s practice squad on Thursday, as shared by Exclusive Sports Group and Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald.

Borders, 28, has appeared in 32 games since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Duke in 2017. His career includes six starts, seven pass deflections, one interception, one fumble recovery and 42 tackles. He stands with 526 snaps on defense and 329 snaps on special teams over that span.

Released by the Atlanta Falcons at the 53-man roster deadline, Borders had been suspended for the initial two games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances in June. Listed at 6 feet, 189 pounds, the well-traveled corner made previous stops with the Las Vegas Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Commanders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears.

Hearn, 24, closed out his collegiate run at UCLA as a redshirt senior after stints at Wyoming and Arizona. He appeared in a combined 50 games, starting 37, and finished with 146 tackles, 21 pass deflections as well as a fumble return for a touchdown.

Head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler’s Raiders signed Hearn, listed at 6 feet, 204 pounds, as an undrafted free agent in May. The Bruins, Cowboys and Wildcats product was waived as part of the cutdown from 90 players in August.

New England had two openings on the practice squad and a recent shortage in the secondary.

With Jack Jones on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury and Jonathan Jones inactive against Miami due to an ankle injury, Marcus Jones started and departed from the 24-17 loss due to a shoulder injury. The reigning first-team All-Pro has remained sidelined to begin Week 3.

The New York Jets host Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET kickoff at MetLife Stadium.