The first extended absence of Joe Thuney’s NFL career will begin later this month.
Thuney, who has started every game at left guard since the New England Patriots drafted him in 2015, is set to undergo foot surgery, ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss reported early Monday morning.
The procedure is a relatively minor one, per Reiss’ sources, and Thuney is expected to be ready in time for Week 1. However, he reportedly will sit out organized team activities, which begin May 21.
Thuney, who is entering his third NFL season, has missed just nine offensive snaps during his Patriots career.
Who will fill in at left guard? New England has a few options.
The most intriguing is first-round draft pick Isaiah Wynn, who played both tackle and guard at Georgia. If the Patriots are confident in newcomer Trent Brown’s ability to replace Nate Solder at left tackle — or feel comfortable using LaAdrian Waddle, Antonio Garcia or Cole Croston there — they could put Wynn at guard until Thuney is healthy enough to return.
Other options include Ted Karras — the team’s primary interior offensive line backup for the past two seasons — the versatile Croston and veteran free agent addition Luke Bowanko.
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