The Patriots have a great front office, but not even Bill Belichick can outsmart injuries. Losing Isaiah Wynn is a massive blow to New England’s offense.
When the Patriots decided to let Nate Solder leave via free agency they knew it left them vulnerable at the tackle position. Trading for Trent Brown and spending a first-round pick on Isaiah Wynn seemed to solve that problem for Belichick and Co.
Losing Wynn for the season with a torn Achilles is going to throw the Patriots’ best laid plans into disarray. The former Georgia star wasn’t necessarily going to start for New England as a rookie, but he was taking snaps with the first team at the time of his injury. At the very least, Wynn was going to be the team’s backup at both tackle spots.
Now it’s going to be LaAdrian Waddle thrust into that position. He started four games for the Patriots last season, but he’s a journeyman. Waddle is the sort of player you can plug in for a game or two to avoid disaster, but he can’t hold up as a starter for any extended period of time.
In fairness to the Patriots, there isn’t a team in the league who can really afford to lose a first round pick to a season ending injury. Players selected so high are generally called upon to play early and often in their rookie seasons. That’s especially true when you’re talking about lineman that go to teams with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.
Of course, this is a really harsh blow for Wynn as a player. He had a real chance to work his way into Belichick’s first team this season. Even if Brown and Marcus Cannon held him out of the starting lineup for the time being, he would’ve been a highly valuable reserve. Losing an entire season to an injury with such a complicated recovery is a tough pill for Wynn to swallow.
As it stands, Belichick will have to work his magic to make sure his offensive line play remains up to the team’s usual standards in 2018. Tom Brady has to be kept upright and healthy at all costs. The loss of Wynn for the season will make that a much more difficult proposition for the Patriots.