How Patriots will look to replace Marcus Cannon next few weeks

Ryan Hannable
September 10, 2019 - 3:05 pm

The Patriots appear to be without starting right tackle Marcus Cannon for at least a few games after he injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter against the Steelers Sunday night.

Listen to your team news NOW.

So, how will the Patriots go about replacing him?

"It's going to be a big challenge," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said on a conference call Tuesday. "Marcus is a good player, and we're going to need some guys to step up and play well. And I think that's going to be an important part of this week and our preparation going into Miami."

For the remainder of the fourth quarter, the Patriots shifted Joe Thuney from left guard to right tackle and then had newcomer Jermaine Eluemunor play left guard. That is one option, and then the other would be keeping Thuney at left guard and then having Korey Cunningham, who was also recently acquired via trade, start at left tackle. Cunningham was inactive Sunday.

There are obviously pros and cons to both.

At first glance, it seems like having Cunningham do it makes most sense because having Thuney shift to right tackle would mean having question marks at two positions instead of one. But, there's also the fact the majority of Cunningham's NFL experience has been at left tackle. He does have much more playing experience than Eluemunor, as he started Weeks 10-15 last season in Arizona.

This could be something that doesn't get decided until the end of the week after getting a good look at both players during practice. The good news it isn't expected to be a long-term absence, as the offense isn't in a great position to win without Cannon.

The other positive is the Patriots' schedule the next few weeks is very soft with games against the Dolphins, Jets, Bills, Redskins and Jets again the next five weeks.


Related: Josh McDaniels, Patriots offense is not going to force ball to Antonio Brown