Conor McDermott’s NFL career came full circle Tuesday.
The New England Patriots signed McDermott, a 30-year-old offensive tackle, off the New York Jets’ practice squad, ESPN’s Field Yates reported, plugging him into the 53-man roster spot they opened by waiving running back J.J. Taylor.
The signing represented a reunion for McDermott, whom the Patriots selected in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-8, 310-pound UCLA product failed to make the 53-man roster as a rookie and proceeded to spend the next 5 1/2 seasons with the AFC East rival Buffalo Bills (2017-19) and Jets (2019-22).
McDermott has started just six career games, but he’s appeared in 43, including seven for New York this season. His return fills a glaring need for the Patriots, who were extremely thin at tackle with Marcus Cannon on injured reserve and Wynn leaving Sunday’s 10-3 win over the Jets with a foot injury.
Wynn, who’s started games at right and left tackle this season, did not practice Tuesday, putting his availability for Thursday’s Thanksgiving night matchup with the Minnesota Vikings in doubt. McDermott now becomes the only healthy backup tackle on New England’s roster behind projected starters Trent Brown and Yodny Cajuste.
Offensive line play has been the Patriots’ greatest problem of late, with quarterback Mac Jones taking four or more sacks in each of the team’s last three games. Brown and Cajuste each allowed two sacks in Sunday’s win, with the Jets registering six total.
The status of starting center David Andrews remained unclear as of Tuesday afternoon. Andrews left the Jets game with what reportedly was a severe thigh injury but was present during the open media portion of Tuesday’s practice.
The Patriots will travel to Minneapolis on Wednesday. Kickoff for Thursday’s primetime matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.