FOXBORO, Mass. — Trent Brown entered Sunday having played every offensive snap for Patriots this season. But he began New England’s Week 11 rematch against the New York Jets on the bench.
The Patriots’ starting offensive line featured Isaiah Wynn at left tackle and Yodny Cajuste at right tackle. Brown, who started the first nine games at left tackle, was active and in uniform but not part of the starting unit.
Quarterback Mac Jones was sacked on the game’s opening play.
The reason for this change was unclear. Wynn has struggled mightily at right tackle this season, so moving him back to his natural position on the left side was not a major surprise. He was seen taking reps at left tackle during practice this week, hinting at a potential position change.
But Brown also has a history of strong play at right tackle. He played there all last season and was one of the Patriots’ top O-line performers when healthy. He seemingly would be a better option in that spot than Cajuste, who allowed a sack and five pressures against the Indianapolis Colts in his lone start this season.
Brown was a full practice participant this week and was not listed on New England’s injury report entering Sunday’s game.
Aside from the unexpected tackle alignment, the Patriots’ offense should benefit from the return of longtime starting center David Andrews. Andrews missed the previous two games with a concussion, and New England’s O-line struggled mightily in both, surrendering 10 sacks as the Patriots managed just two offensive touchdowns across 25 non-kneeldown possessions.
One of those two games was a 22-17 win over the Jets at MetLife Stadium, during which the Andrews-less Patriots allowed six sacks to New York’s talented defensive front.