New England Patriots’ offensive line issues could keep key players out of preseason finale
The New England Patriots have had such trouble on the offensive line this summer, that it may cost them real playing time for their most important player.
Of course, we’re talking about starting quarterback Mac Jones. He doesn’t have any reported injuries, as of Thursday afternoon, but the offensive line in front of him has become an infirmary. So it appears that the team might want to protect him by keeping him off the field.
That’s based on a new post by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, who said on X Thursday: “After QB Mac Jones took some hard hits last week behind a patchwork offensive line, strong consideration has to be given to hold him out of the preseason finale. … Would normally not be a big question to play Jones in finale, but OL snapshot complicates it.”
Reiss didn’t necessarily report that the Patriots themselves are considering sitting Jones, but his thoughts often reflect that of the team. And it wouldn’t be terribly shocking if Bill Belichick decided to preserve Jones for Week 1 of the regular season against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Patriots were without both projected starters at guard – Mike Onwenu and Cole Strange – for most of training camp. They’re also having trouble landing on a reliable right tackle, where rookie Sidy Sow has played most recently. Blocking has been an issue almost across the board.
Jones was sacked twice in last week’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, including one for a lost fumble. He also took a hit as he stood in the pocket and completed a 13-yard pass to Kendrick Bourne.
Since the Patriots probably aren’t going to figure out all their blocking woes in time for Friday night’s preseason finale against the Tennessee Titans, it’s for the best to keep Jones on the sidelines for a meaningless game. For that matter, they might want to consider sitting backup quarterback Bailey Zappe, and running backs Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott as well.
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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. Check out all of Matt’s content here.