BOSTON (CBS) — Yes, outside of all the Antonio Brown stories, the New England Patriots do have to go about their business this week on the football field. And in that regard, they have a pretty significant challenge facing them on the offensive line.
Last week, first-year starter Isaiah Wynn left the game in Miami early due to a turf toe injury, thus prompting Marshall Newhouse into action. The veteran tackle had signed with the Patriots just a few days prior to kickoff, and his workload of taking 100 percent of the offensive snaps was likely not in his plans heading into the weekend.
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This weekend, though, the plan is much more direct, as offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia told the media Friday that Newhouse will be the team’s starting left tackle come Sunday afternoon vs. the Jets.
“Continuity is really important to us, and we’re going to play the way we played last week. [Joe] Thuney’s going to be the left guard, Marshall is going to be the left tackle. We’re going to have Shaq [Mason at right guard], we’re going to have Ted [Karras at center], and we’re going to have a right tackle,” Scarnecchia said.
With Wynn now on injured reserve for at least eight weeks, the position should be Newhouse’s to own for a good portion of the season.
The right tackle situation remains somewhat in flux, as starter Marcus Cannon deals with a shoulder injury. If he can’t play, Korey Cunningham will likely fill the right tackle spot, as he did Sunday in Miami.
Thuney showed the versatility to play tackle during training camp, but Scarnecchia said the team would prefer to have as much continuity as possible.
“I’d rather not have to move Joe here or move Joe there,” Scarnecchia said. “We’d like to keep four of the five components that we started with in place — now three of the five components.”
Newhouse, 30, is now in his ninth NFL season. A fifth-round draft pick by Green Bay in 2010, he’s played for the Packers, Bengals, Giants, Raiders, Bills and Panthers. He remained unsigned until last week, when the Patriots made yet another lineman signing in a season already full of them. The rust may have shown, as The Athletic’s Jeff Howe tracked Newhouse for allowing one sack and two quarterback hits while also committing two holding penalties.
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