A three-time Super Bowl champion should make his return to the Patriots’ lineup on Sunday.
With New England ruling reserve offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (thumb) out for its Week 4 matchup with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, the team likely will elevate veteran Marcus Cannon from its practice squad.
The Patriots have yet to announce that roster move, but with Cajuste sidelined, they have no available backups for starting tackles Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown on their 53-man roster. They traded their previous fourth tackle, Justin Herron, to the Las Vegas Raiders last week.
Cannon, who spent the first decade of his career with New England, is back with the Patriots after one season with the Houston Texans. The 34-year-old officially signed to the practice squad on Sept. 13. He’s highly experienced (115 appearances with 69 starts during his first Patriots stint) but has played in just four games over the past two seasons, opting out in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns and then having his 2021 campaign cut short by a back injury.
Head coach Bill Belichick last week praised Cannon for his meticulous approach.
“Marcus has had a great attitude,” Belichick said. “Comes in, works really hard. Just wants to do it the right way. Not come in and jump in but come in and start at the beginning. Work on his fundamentals, work on the lifting, all the preparation things that go into being a good football player. You start at the bottom, work his way up. That’s really the way to do it is build a good foundation.
“He didn’t have training camp, but he can use the time that he has now to put that in place. So when he does play, he’ll be, I think, able to hit a higher ceiling than trying to skip all those steps and just start playing. He has a great attitude, had a good week of practice, was impressive out there. So he’s good.”
Wynn and Brown both have dealt with numerous injuries during their respective careers, so reliable tackle depth is vital for the Patriots. Cannon was a multi-year starter at right tackle for New England — the spot Wynn currently mans — but has experience on the left side, as well.
While Cajuste’s absence shakes up the lower levels of the depth chart, New England also has ruled out two far more prominent players for this week’s game. Quarterback Mac Jones (ankle) and longtime starting defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (shoulder) also will not play in Green Bay.
Brian Hoyer will start behind center for the Patriots, who are pegged as 9.5-point road underdogs.