The Patriots drafted Isaiah Wynn to help fill the void left by Nate Solder’s departure. New England can’t afford for an injury to derail that plan.
Letting Nate Solder leave via free agency was a calculated gamble by Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots’ front office. The organization covered themselves by drafting Isaiah Wynn in the first round. If the talented rookie misses serious time due to injury, the Patriots will struggle to recover.
Unfortunately, Wynn was carted off the field after suffering an injury in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Eagles. Predictably, the Patriots aren’t providing any specific about the player’s injury. It’s safe to assume he’ll undergo additional tests before the team makes a firm diagnosis.
Patriots fans need to hope that taking him off on the cart was just a precaution. While Wynn isn’t currently projected to be a starter this season, he is one of New England’s top reserves. He was taking snaps with the first team offense at right tackle at the time of his injury. Wynn didn’t start the game for the Patriots, but he did enter the fray during the second series.
One of the things Belichick and company really liked him coming out of Georgia, was his versatility. Most teams projected Wynn as a guard at the next level, but the Patriots believe he has the functional athleticism to play at tackle. His ability to play at both spots will give him a lot of opportunities to play if any first teamer fails to do their job or suffers an injury of their own.
Losing him for any extended period of time will make the Patriots’ line very thin. The team made a slick move to acquire Trent Brown to start at left tackle, but the rest of the group is pretty uninspiring. Spending a first round pick on an offensive lineman was a clear signal from Belichick that he wants more production from his offensive front.
Keeping Tom Brady upright and healthy is the most important mission of the Patriots offensive line. If Wynn has suffered a serious injury they are going to struggle to do that consistently. This is a potentially massive loss for the Pats.