In the third round of last year’s draft, the New England Patriots invested in an offensive tackle out of West Virginia who offered good upside but was no lock to contribute in 2019 after undergoing offseason surgery on an injured quad: Yodny Cajuste. A pick made with the long term in mind, Cajuste’s recovery forced him to sit out the Patriots’ spring practices and led to the team later placing him on the non-football injury list.
With New England not activating him before the in-season deadline, his first year in the NFL came to an end before it really even started. According to NESN’s Doug Kyed, however, the 24-year-old is on his way to make a comeback this year: Cajuste is expected to be “a full go” by the time the Patriots kick off their training camp in late July — giving him more than a year’s worth of recovery time between his medical procedure ahead of last year’s draft and his return to the field in full capacity.
Even though Cajuste missed all of 2019 because of his rehabilitation process, he might play a prominent role along New England’s offensive line next season: while he will likely be the team’s top swing/backup option at offensive tackle, but there is a chance he even advances to the starting lineup in case other moves are made atop the depth chart. At this point in time, however, the most important thing for him and the Patriots is to get him back onto the field again. And it looks like a return is near.