Update 10/14/2021: Starting guard Michael Onwenu activated off Patriots’ Covid-19 reserve list
After previous reports that he would be activated off the Covid-19 return list, Patriots starting left guard Michael Onwenu was indeed present for the team’s Thursday practice. The move was later made official through the NFL’s transactions wire.
Original story 10/14/2021: Starting guard Michael Onwenu reportedly set to return off Patriots’ Covid-19 reserve list
After missing four of five starters during last week’s game against the Houston Texans, the New England Patriots’ offensive line has finally received some good news. According to a report by ESPN’s Field Yates, starting left guard Michael Onwenu is expected to return off the Coronavirus reserve list on Thursday.
Onwenu, a sixth-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2020, started all four games before being sent to the Covid-19 list last Tuesday. He was joined on the list by fellow lineman Isaiah Wynn, who remains sidelined as of Thursday morning.
Under NFL protocols, asymptomatic individuals who are vaccinated are eligible to return after producing two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart. Unvaccinated individuals testing positive, on the other hand, are required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days before producing back-to-back negative tests.
The Patriots had hoped to get Onwenu back before last week’s game in Houston, but he was unable to make the trip. In his place, practice squad call-up James Ferentz stepped into the left guard role against the Texans.
With the 23-year-old now set to return to practice, New England’s offensive line will have at least two of its nominal starters — Onwenu and center David Andrews — present. The rest has yet to return: Wynn remains on the Covid-19 list; right guard Shaq Mason is still working his way back from an abdominal injury; right tackle Trent Brown has to sit out two more games on injured reserve.
The Patriots will release their second injury report of the day on Thursday afternoon. They will take on the 4-1 Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.