The New England Patriots will begin the final phase of their offseason workout program this week, and they will reportedly do so without starting guard Michael Onwenu.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Onwenu is expected to be absent from organized team activities (OTAs) this week after undergoing offseason surgery on his ankle.
The injury occurred in Week 18 when Onwenu was rolled up on by Bills defensive lineman DaQuan Jones. Onwenu, who was already battling an ankle injury throughout the year, was forced to miss six snaps in the finale, the only snaps he missed all season.
It is unknown how long Onwenu will be sidelined for this offseason, but New England will have plenty of options to take his place in the mean time. Veteran James Ferentz is the likely choice during the instructional and non-padded OTA practices. Other interior options include Chasen Hines, Bill Murray, and Kody Russey, who are joined by rookies Jake Andrews, Sidy Sow, and Atonio Mafi.
Settling into right guard last season, Onwenu was New England’s best offensive lineman allowing just one sack and two quarterback hits in 17 starts. The 25-year old will hope to now get healthy and replicate that success as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.