By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patriots left guard Joe Thuney will undergo foot surgery as the Patriots continue their offseason workouts, according to a report by ESPN’s Mike Reiss. The procedure “isn’t considered anything that should threaten his availability for the 2018 season.”
However, that also means that Thuney will miss some of the Patriots’ upcoming organized team activities and will be slowed in his preparation for the regular season. The 2016 third-round pick played all but nine snaps at guard in his first two seasons with the Patriots, taking the field for 99.6 percent of the team’s offensive plays.
While Thuney has been a mainstay at left guard and played well in Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles, he’s also had bouts of inconsistency protecting the interior for Tom Brady. He’s scheduled to earn a $630,000 base salary in 2018, which could be something of a make-or-break season for him as he enters the second-to-last year of his rookie deal.
Thuney’s foot surgery brings added importance to the Patriots’ drafting of Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn in the first round, among other offseason moves on the offensive line. Though the Patriots ostensibly view Wynn as the long-term answer at left tackle, his height (6-foot-3) projected him more as a guard among most NFL scouts and coaches. So there’s a chance Wynn will have to fill in at left guard if Thuney has a setback, or if the latter isn’t quite ready for a full workload to start the 2018 season.
If Wynn, the starting left tackle for Georgia in 2017, slides over to left guard to start his NFL career, then it will be on Patriots trade acquisition Trent Brown and others to compete for the starting left tackle spot. They also have LaAdrian Waddle back on a one-year deal and signed free agents Matt Tobin and Luke Bowanko. Versatile depth linemen such as Ted Karras and Cole Croston also remain on the roster entering OTAs.
There will be a bit of a domino effect on the Pats offensive line if Thuney isn’t ready to go for the start of 2018. But his surgery is apparently minor in nature, and for now he’ll still have an opportunity to immediately reclaim his starting spot when he’s cleared to practice.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.