FOXBORO, Mass. — A year ago, Conor McDermott joined the Patriots midseason, quickly was thrust into the starting lineup and helped bring a measure of stability to New England’s struggling offensive line.

Will that same blueprint work again?

The Patriots on Tuesday re-signed McDermott to their practice squad ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium. The journeyman offensive tackle was cut with an injury settlement before the season began, but the Patriots kept his locker intact, suggesting a reunion always was either planned or possible.

“Conor was with us in training camp, and then we did an injury settlement with him,” head coach Belichick said Wednesday morning. “So, it’s good to have him back.”

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McDermott wasn’t especially impressive in training camp and the preseason and hasn’t played football in two months. But if he can perform at the level he did after the Patriots plucked him off the New York Jets’ P-squad last November, he’d be a substantial upgrade over what the team has gotten from the right tackle position so far this season.

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Over his six starts for the Patriots in 2022, McDermott allowed no sacks, three quarterback hits and 11 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, while also posting solid PFF grades as a run blocker. In six games this season, New England’s right tackles (Calvin Anderson in the first two; Vederian Lowe in the last four) have allowed four sacks and 33 pressures.

Lowe surrendered the Raiders’ game-clinching safety in Week 6 and the Week 4 strip-sack that resulted in a Cowboys touchdown. His nine pressures allowed against Dallas were the most by a Patriots blocker since the start of the 2017 season, per PFF. Lowe also was flagged for a false start on the opening play of Sunday’s loss in Las Vegas.

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Anderson, who missed all of training camp with a serious illness, had a Week 1 holding penalty that wiped out a two-point conversion and allowed a near-strip-sack in Week 2. He hasn’t played since Sept. 17 and was a healthy scratch for the last two games.

Overall, PFF’s grading scale has Anderson and Lowe ranked 69th and 72nd, respectively, out of 73 qualified tackles entering Week 7.

McDermott, who never has been a full-time starter in his NFL career, wouldn’t be a guaranteed fix, but he can’t be any worse than that. Assuming he looks fit in practice this week, it would not be surprising to see him start at right tackle in Sunday’s must-win game against Buffalo.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images