Patriots Promote Marcus Cannon; Should He Start At Right Tackle?

Will Cannon leapfrog Isaiah Wynn?

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October 5

FOXBORO, Mass. — Marcus Cannon officially is back on the Patriots’ roster. The question now is whether he’ll return to their starting lineup.

Cannon, who joined New England’s practice squad last month after spending the 2021 season in Houston, was promoted to the 53-man roster Wednesday. The 34-year-old will serve as, at worst, the Patriots’ third tackle when they host the Detroit Lions this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

But with Isaiah Wynn coming off three consecutive poor performances at right tackle — outings riddled with penalties and pass-protection breakdowns — the Patriots could consider replacing him with Cannon, as they did after halftime in last week’s overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Wynn surrendered two sacks — one that caused Brian Hoyer to suffer a concussion and another that resulted in a Bailey Zappe fumble — and committed two penalties in the first half of the Packers game, prompting the team to bench him in favor of Cannon. Both played in the second half as the Patriots leaned on heavy, tackle-eligible personnel packages, and Cannon performed well in his 25 offensive snaps.

“He did a great job stepping in for us,” center David Andrews said after the game. “He definitely can add a lot to our offense, I think. He’s big — not many guys like Marcus walking around. I thought he did a good job for us coming in there and helping us out.”

Sunday’s game was just Cannon’s fifth appearance since the start of the 2020 season. He opted out of that campaign due to COVID-19 concerns, then played in four games for Houston before going down with a back injury. But he brings a wealth of Patriots starting experience — including serving as the top right tackle for two Super Bowl winners — and clearly has impressed teammates and coaches since his return.

“Marcus came here healthy,” head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. “He’s taken a lot of reps at practice. He played some last week. We’ll keep going and see how it goes. It looks like he’ll be able to help us.”

The Patriots shifted Wynn from left tackle to right this past spring, and he just has not looked comfortable in his new spot. He’s surrendered a team-high nine quarterback pressures through four weeks, per Pro Football Focus, and his five accepted penalties this season lead the NFL, according to The Football Database. No other Patriots player has committed more than one. Wynn had another penalty that was declined, and all six of his infractions have come in the last three games.

Wynn also popped up on the Patriots’ first Week 5 injury report with a hip ailment that limited him in Wednesday’s practice. If those limitations persist, they would only increase the odds of Cannon leapfrogging him on the depth chart.

Yodny Cajuste and Justin Herron were the Patriots’ backup tackles to begin the season, but the latter was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders and the former landed on injured reserve last week, prompting Cannon’s gameday elevation against Green Bay.

The Patriots filled Cannon’s vacated spot on the practice squad Wednesday by signing offensive lineman Sebastian Guttierez, an undrafted rookie out of Division-II Minot State.

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