The New England Patriots offensive line could be in trouble. Guard Joe Thuney is set for foot surgery, and that could lead to issues on the New England front.
Tom Brady is one of the (if not the best) quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, but even he succumbs to pressure when it’s there. ESPN’s Mike Reiss is reporting that guard Joe Thuney will have surgery. According to Reiss, it’s not supposed to impact his availability in 2018, but he will be missed during offseason activities.
Thuney only missed a total of six snaps for the Patriots since they drafted him in 2016. According to Pro Football Focus, Thuney was New England’s second-best starting offensive lineman in terms of pass protection. However, as a whole, according to PFF, the line was 10th-worst in terms of percentage of pressures allowed, and they allowed the eighth-most total pressures. Without Thuney there, they may have to rely even more heavily on rookie Isaiah Wynn, who they wanted to replace the departed Nate Solder. That means his absence could affect two positions.
Thuney missing time, though, affects not only his timing, but the line as a whole. The offensive line is the most important unit in football, and they need to be able to communicate, and him missing time may cause chemistry issues at the beginning of the season.
It doesn’t matter how well Brady takes care of his body, eventually, especially at the age of 41, hits will take their toll.
Say what you will about the offensive line, but without them the running and passing game both suffer. Thuney missing the offseason will set the group back early in the season. The Patriots may be able to overcome it, but it may hurt their playoff seeding and could drastically impact the road to Super Bowl LIII if Thuney misses any real time.