The New England Patriots entered the weekend with three players listed as questionable to play. While the status of tight end Matt LaCosse (ankle) ultimately remains to be determined, running back Brandon Bolden (hamstring) has already been ruled out by the team. It now looks like the third player whose name popped up on the injury report this week will join Bolden on the list of inactives: starting right tackle Marcus Cannon (per ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss).
Cannon hurt his shoulder during the fourth quarter of last week’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 31-year-old was unable to finish the game, forcing the Patriots to move starting left guard Joe Thuney to his vacant spot. Cannon will be back at one point — the injury has been described as no long-term issue, and he practiced this week in limited capacity — but until then, the club will need to find a replacement option.
Thuney could be it, but a more conventional way that would not weaken two positions instead of one would be to use one of the backup tackles. The Patriots have two on the roster at the moment: trade acquisition Korey Cunningham, who was a healthy game day inactive last week, and recently signed Marshall Newhouse. Both are obvious downgrades from Cannon but bring some experience to the table — it should be expected to see one of them get the start against the Miami Dolphins instead of Thuney.