Marcus Cannon enters concussion protocol, status for Week 3 in jeopardy
Patriots starting right tackle Marcus Cannon was listed on the team's injury report with a concussion on Wednesday. Per ESPN's Mike Reiss, he didn't practice that day either, meaning that Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle might have to fill in for Sunday's game against the Texans.
The news was surprising when first announced: Cannon played every snap against the Saints and never seemed visibly shaken up on the field. Like Reiss said, he was battling through an ankle ailment the whole game, but it didn't seem very significant considering he was able to play through it for an extended duration. But after suffering a concussion and sitting out completely so far this week, it doesn't look like he'll be good to go for Week 3. If that's indeed the case, the right tackle role would fall to a combo of veterans Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle.
Fleming, a former seventh-rounder out of Stanford in 2013, has remained on the roster for four years thanks mostly to his power and utility as a swing run blocker in jumbo and goal line situations. While he's flashed ability beforehand, his raw fundamentals got him into trouble earlier in his career. It will certainly be tough to make the start with JJ Watt on the other side of the ball, but all signs point to Fleming being the next man up in Cannon's absence. Waddle, a five-year veteran drafted by Detroit, has stuck in New England after being claimed on waivers back in 2015. He probably won't be called on to start, though he will be asked to fill in at Fleming's usual swing tackle role, and possibly spell Fleming on offense as well.
Cannon just signed a 5-year $32.5 million deal last season to remain Tom Brady's right side protector. While he's been worth every penny so far, the concussion may prove to be the first real true test of his mettle. For the team's sake and his, hopefully he makes a quick and full recovery.