Some news and notes for this morning:
Offensive lineman Mike Onwenu reportedly took part in practice on a limited basis on Wednesday, marking the first time this preseason he’s been able to participate.
After starting training camp on PUP, it appears that he’s progressed enough to be removed from having that designation, which is good news for New England’s offensive line ahead of the regular season.
Onwenu had seemed to be making progress, with the New England Patriots lineman having made the trip to Green Bay last week while taking in the sessions in street clothes. Onwenu didn’t play last Saturday night, but it looks like after this news, we may finally see him in the coming weeks.
During his absence, a variety of players filled in at his spot, with Kody Russey and Reilly Reiff getting the starting nod, respectively, over the team’s first two preseason contests against both Houston and Green Bay.
Both guys struggled at times in their roles, and Onwenu’s absence was certainly noticeable, particularly with rookie Sidy Sow trying to work out the kinks as he’s been working at right tackle.
Sow has been in that role for most of the preseason, and it’s possible, given how things have played out, that he may even end up out there to start the season.
However, one underrated factor may be how having a veteran like Onwenu next to him could help him, as Onwenu has been there for a while and can probably help him with the protections, potentially eliminating some of the mistakes we saw that appeared to be communication-related. Another possibility could be that, depending on how they feel about Sow’s progress, the club could opt to use Onwenu to right tackle.
For now, this was at least some positive news. Given how bad things were up front at times, it’s certainly a little encouraging, especially considering they’ll be facing a pretty good Eagles defense in a couple of weeks.
Douglas Dealing With A Shoulder Injury
Rookie Demario Douglas has been limited this week, and that was the case for him again on Wednesday.
According to reports, it sounds like the reason for his absence has been due to a shoulder injury.
Looking back at Saturday night’s contest against the Packers, the injury likely came on a throw he caught late in the first quarter.
After converting a 3rd-and-10 with a shifty 15-yard reception from Mac Jones, Jones targeted him again on the ensuing play with a swing pass to his right, with Douglas getting driven into the turf on the tackle by linebacker Lukas Van Ness after picking up two yards.
Looking back at Saturday night's game, this may have been the play Demario Douglas got hurt on. Looked to be favoring his right arm after Packers LB Lukas Van Ness drove Douglas' shoulder into the ground and landed on top of him. #ForeverNE pic.twitter.com/SW8k4IgDkR
— PatsFans.com (@PatsFans) August 24, 2023
After the catch, looking again at the film, Van Ness appeared to get all of his weight on the rookie on the tackle, with Douglas seemingly favoring his right arm after he got up.
His injury bears watching as he’s been one of the bright spots this preseason. With the Patriots already dealing with an injury with tight end Mike Gesicki, who was also limited on Wednesday, they can’t really afford too many setbacks as they continue getting ready for the season.
New DT McCall Fails Physical
The Patriots seemed to make a smart move by snagging defensive tackle Marquan McCall from the Panthers, claiming him off of waivers after Carolina let him go after what Panthers head coach told reporters was due to his “fit” in their defense.
Instead, it appears there was also a knee issue with the second-year undrafted free agent, which was apparently found after the team put McCall through a physical where the ailment was discovered.
The 379-pound defensive tackle reportedly hadn’t missed any time this preseason, and based on the reports that came out following his release, there didn’t seem to be any indication that health was a factor in the Panthers parting ways with him.
Unfortunately, the issue must have been significant enough where New England went ahead and just let him go not long after after his medical evaluation.
As a result, instead of landing a player who could have given them a massive presence up front, barring a surprise release by someone during roster cutdowns, the Patriots will simply have to rely on who they currently have heading into the 2023 season.
Odds and Ends
Rookie defensive back Christian Gonzalez apparently got nicked up on Wednesday, with Gonzalez suffering a reported ankle injury late during the session. Hopefully it isn’t anything significant since that would be bad news for a group that’s already been without Jonathan Jones and may potentially be without Jack Jones in a few weeks. … Speaking of Jones, he spoke to the media on Wednesday and admitted that his current legal situation has at times been a distraction. “At times, it can be difficult, but I try not to let the outside affect what’s going on on the field,” Jones said via Zack Cox of NESN. “I try to come out here and just focus all on football and let the outside be the outside and worry about that outside.” … Tyquan Thornton remained sidelined on Wednesday, which makes his status heading into final roster cutdowns, especially given the strides Kayshon Boutte has made in recent weeks, one that should be interesting to watch. … Ezekiel Elliott said on Wednesday that his transition with the Patriots has gone well so far. “I was at home for a long time, so I thought I definitely should come in and be kind of an energizer boost,” Elliott said via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “The transition has been good. I’ve been getting along with the team. Love the coaches, love the atmosphere and love this program. Just having fun.”
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Christian Gonzalez Demario Douglas Ezekiel Elliott Jack Jones Jonathan Jones Kayshon Boutte Lukas Van Ness Marquan McCall Mike Onwenu Sidy Sow Tyquan Thornton