The New England Patriots could be without yet another starting offensive lineman when they host the Cleveland Browns this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Right guard Shaq Mason sat out Wednesday’s non-padded walkthough with an ankle injury, according to the team’s latest injury report. Wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight ends Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse also did not participate, though Gordon and Izzo were present. Gordon subsequently was placed on injured reserve.
The Patriots already are playing with backups at center (Ted Karras for David Andrews) and left tackle (Marshall Newhouse for Isaiah Wynn). Mason has started all seven games for New England this season, playing 515 of a possible 520 offensive snaps.
Considered one of the NFL’s premier guards in recent years, Mason’s play has declined somewhat this season. His Pro Football Focus performance grade of 64.3 — down from 85.0 in 2018 and 81.6 in 2017 — ranks 26th among players at his position.
Mason allowed eight total pressures in New England’s season-opening win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, per PFF, but has allowed just eight pressures in the six games since, including only one sack and one quarterback hit.
If Mason cannot play Sunday against the Browns, guard/tackle Jermaine Eluemunor likely would slot into the starting lineup. The Patriots also could choose to shift Karras to guard and use reserve James Ferentz at center.
In other injury news, wide receiver/punt returner Gunner Olszewski now is dealing with an ankle issue in addition to his preexisting hamstring injury. He was one of five players limited in practice Wednesday.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Josh Gordon, Knee/Ankle
TE Ryan Izzo, Concussion
TE Matt LaCosse, Knee
G Shaq Mason, Ankle
RB Rex Burkhead, Foot
S Patrick Chung, Heel/Chest
WR Phillip Dorsett, Hamstring
WR Julian Edelman, Chest
WR Gunner Olszewski, Ankle/Hamstring
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images