FOXBORO, Mass. — Dante Scarnecchia isn’t worried about the New England Patriots carrying just seven offensive linemen on their 53-man roster, because he knows that won’t be the case for long.
The Patriots offensive line coach said Sunday the team will add at least one additional body to his position group ahead of next Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Houston Texans.
“We’re going to end up with at least, probably, eight (O-linemen) on the roster,” Scarnecchia said. “We don’t have eight on the roster right now. A couple of guys will be on the practice squad, so we’ll be out there with, I think, eight guys (Sunday). I think most everybody that we plan on playing will be out there. Maybe one guy late as it goes. I shouldn’t say names, and I won’t say names, but by (Monday), it’ll all be done, and we’ll be fine.”
O-linemen Cole Croston, Luke Bowanko, Brian Schwenke, Matt Tobin, James Ferentz and Jason King all were included in the Patriots’ final round of roster cuts Saturday, and Isaiah Wynn and Ulrick John were placed on injured reserve. That purge left swing tackle LaAdrian Waddle and guard/center Ted Karras as the only remaining reserves behind starters Trent Brown, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon.
Croston and Ferentz both cleared waivers and joined the Patriots’ practice squad.
New England filled its 53-man roster Sunday by claiming wide receivers Chad Hansen and Amara Darboh off waivers, meaning it would need to release a player in order to add an additional O-lineman
The Patriots began last season with nine offensive linemen on their 53-man roster, with Waddle, Karras, Croston and tackle Cameron Fleming serving as backups. Waddle and Fleming combined to start 12 games in place of an injured Cannon, including playoffs, and Karras was active for all 19 games, starting two.
Cannon, who missed the second half of last season with an ankle injury, did not play in any of the Patriots’ preseason games and missed nearly a month of practice this summer. Scarnecchia indicated his status for Week 1 remains unclear.
“We’ve got to see how it goes, quite honestly,” the coach said. “He’s going to practice again (Sunday) at least through the individual periods, do some 1-on-1s, see how that goes, just see how this thing’s coming along. We feel like he’s been very close to being good, and whether or not that continues, we’ll just have to see. He’s in that process now.”
Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images