The New England Patriots had a pretty successful opening day: the team defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers 33-3 and dominated in all three phases of the game. There was one negative development, though, as starting right tackle Marcus Cannon went down in the fourth quarter and had to leave the game with what was later specified to be a shoulder injury. Given New England’s lack of proven depth at the position, this was a big deal.
However, it looks like the Patriots and Cannon may have dodged a bullet: according to a report by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the shoulder injury that forced the veteran tackle out of Sunday’s game “is not considered anything season-ending, or long-term in nature.” While there is still a chance that the 31-year-old misses some time because of the injury, this is obviously very good news for both the team and the player.
After all, the Patriots had to turn to starting left guard Joe Thuney to fill Cannon’s spot in the lineup following the injury. Why? They did not have a backup tackle on their 46-man game day roster after deactivating Korey Cunningham. Instead, the team moved Thuney over to right tackle and inserted backup interior lineman Jermaine Eluemunor into the now vacant spot between left tackle Isaiah Wynn and center Ted Karras.
Whether or not the Patriots will follow a similar plan moving forward remains to be seen. Whatever happens, though, is expected to only be a short-term solution until Cannon returns to action.