The New England Patriots likely will be without their starting left tackle when they visit the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Marcus Cannon, who left New England’s Week 1 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers with a shoulder injury, is not expected to play against Miami, according to a report Saturday from ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Cannon participated on a limited basis in all three practices this week, and his injury is not considered serious.
With Cannon out, the Patriots are left with a few unfamiliar options at right tackle. The candidates to start there Sunday are Korey Cunningham, Joe Thuney and Marshall Newhouse.
Cunningham joined the Patriots via trade one day before their final preseason game and was inactive for last Sunday’s regular-season opener. The 24-year-old started six games at left tackle for the Arizona Cardinals as a rookie seventh-round draft pick last season.
Plugging Thuney into Cannon’s spot would require him to shift over from left guard, where he’s started every game for New England since entering the NFL in 2016. Thuney replaced Cannon following the latter’s injury and worked some at left tackle during training camp, but his last start at right tackle came during his sophomore year at North Carolina State.
Newhouse has extensive starting experience at both tackle spots (72 starts over eight seasons), but the 31-year-old journeyman signed with the Patriots just three days ago.
“He’s got experience,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Friday when asked why the team brought Newhouse aboard. “He’s played both sides. He’s a guy that’s played good football during his time in the league, and he was available. That’s the main thing.”
The Patriots ruled running back Brandon Bolden out Saturday. He’s been dealing with a hamstring injury.