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Injury woes for Patriots offensive line

Injury trouble for Patriots afd0980 via


After a make-shift offensive line decimated by injuries struggled heavily at the end of the 2015 season, it appears the Patriots injury troubles along the offensive line have picked up right where they left off last year. Just halfway through the 2016 preseason, New England has already lost two of their projected starters for what appears to be a significant amount of time.

The first blow came when it was announced that Sebastian Vollmer, the Patriots starting Right Tackle, was headed to IR due to a recurring hip injury with his season in jeopardy. Vollmer, who has been perhaps the most consistent presence on the offensive line since he was drafted in 2009, had missed the entire preseason thus far while on the PUP list. At 33 years old and a free agent in 2017, Vollmer could be coming towards the end of his playing career.

Vollmer’s injury will thrust backup Marcus Cannon into the role of starting Right Tackle. Though Cannon performed very poorly last season, he has looked to be much improved so far this preseason, due to the tutelage of recently un-retired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. Scarnecchia seems to have plenty of faith in Cannon, saying  “He’s a special kid. He’s a starting quality player”.

After Vollmer’s injury was announced, the bad news kept on coming. Second year player Shaq Mason broke his hand and could head to IR as well. While the time table for his return is currently unknown, an IR designation means he would be out at least six weeks. Mason had been projected to be the Patriots starter at Right Guard. Now the question is whether Josh Kline or Jonathan Cooper (who should soon be returning from a foot injury) will step into the starting role.

With two back-ups starting on the offensive line, Quarterback Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the season and starting Running Back Dion Lewis out 8-10 weeks, the injuries are really beginning to pile up for the Patriots offense. We all know that Brady can work his magic pretty much regardless of the supporting cast around him, but it could be an entirely different story with Jimmy Garoppolo under center.

Note: The new injured reserve (IR) rules state that the team does not have to designate a player as “short-term” at the beginning. They can reactivate any player that has spent 6 weeks on the IR.