The Patriots officially announced that starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn would be placed on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury in Sunday's win over the Miami Dolphins. It was reported by Ian Rapoport that the injury was turf toe and it appeared to happen on the first play of the Patriots second drive of the game.
Wynn can return to practice in six weeks and, after two weeks of practice, would be eligible to suit up on November 17th against the Philadelphia Eagles at the earliest.
This is another blow to a tackle group that has been navigating personnel issues since the off-season. Wynn missed his rookie year with an Achilles injury that he sustained in the preseason of 2018 and was brought along slowly in his second training camp. He spent the first few weeks mainly as a spectator before being integrated into the lineup in the third preseason game. He went wire-to-wire against the Steelers and showed impressive promise.
Now, the first-round-pick will miss significant time in his second season as well, a problem compounded by a shoulder injury that Marcus Cannon sustained in Week 1.
This comes on the heels of the Patriots losing Trent Brown and LaAdrian Waddle to free agency, and free-agent-signing Jared Veldheer to retirement, while rookie third-rounder Yodny Cajuste remains on the PUP/NFI list and could miss his entire rookie year as he recovers from a torn quad.
The Patriots had already added two more tackles since the preseason ended - Marshall Newhouse and Korey Cunningham, and added another one today with the signing of Caleb Benenoch. Newhouse and Cunningham weren't with the team in training camp but they played most of the snaps against the Dolphins and held up well, all things considered.
The team must now decide what will be best for the next two months. Cannon should be back sooner than later and has played on the left side. Newhouse was okay after just three days of practice and could enable Cannon to stay on his usual right side. Or there is Joe Thuney, who filled in with the starters at left tackle while Wynn was still recovering early in camp.
There was also rumored interest in Redskins left tackle Trent Williams who continues to hold out. That could make even more sense now. There are options, but none is an obvious slam dunk because of how decimated they already were at the position.
If anyone can figure it out it's Dante Scarnecchia and the Patriots coaching staff. But protecting the edges of the offense will be the first serious challenge of 2019 and one that is vital to the success of an offense that was had looked primed to launch an assault on the rest of the NFL if they can get all the right pieces together.