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Patriot Maven Notebook — Injury Reports, Change Coming on the O-Line and More

Also, Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson has the chance to earn a dubious honor against the Jets on Sunday.

The New England Patriots have their attention squarely focused on Week Seven and a matchup with the New York Jets on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. From Thursday’s practice notes to a potential change on the offensive line, here are the latest Pats news and notes, courtesy of the Patriot Maven Notebook

Thursday’s Pats-Jets Injury Report

For the second straight day, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, and cornerbacks Jonathan Jones and Shaun Wade did not participate in practice, putting their status for Sunday in doubt. Jones’ absence is particularly concerning, as the Pats continue to be thin at the position. On Wednesday, New England hosted both Brian Poole and De’Vante Bausby for workouts. However, neither defensive back has signed a deal with New England, to date.

Should Jones be unable to play on Sunday, the Patriots face a dilemma in the slot; a role in which the 28-year old is most effective. Beyond starters J.C. Jackson and Jalen Mills, New England would be left with a choice of Joejuan Williams and Myles Bryant to fill the spot. D’Angelo Ross, Elijah Benton and Sean Davis remain options via the practice squad.

Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (elbow/ankle) and defensive end Deatrich Wise, Jr. (knee) returned to the practice field on Thursday, after being non-participants for the previous day’s session. While Wise looked to be moving adequately, in the portion of practice open to media viewing, Hightower was heavily taped and notably limited.

Behind enemy lines, the Jets were the recipients of some good fortune on Thursday, when safety Marcus Maye was upgraded to a full participant in practice, making it highly likely that he will play in Sunday’s game. Maye had been limited during Wednesday’s session. When healthy, he 28-year-old is one of the Jets’ most productive defenders in the secondary. Thus far, in 2021, he has compiled 16 tackles, 2 tackles-for-loss, one quarterback hit and one sack.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE

DL Davon Godchaux, Finger

CB Jonathan Jones, Shoulder

CB Shaun Wade, Concussion

LIMITED AVAILABILITY

DL Christian Barmore, Shoulder

LB Ja'Whaun Bentley, Ribs

RB Brandon Bolden, Thigh

S Kyle Dugger, Knee

K Nick Folk, Left Knee

LB Dont'a Hightower, Elbow/Ankle

LB Brandon King, Thigh

G Shaq Mason, Abdomen

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DB Jalen Mills, Hamstring

DB Adrian Phillips, Back

LB Josh Uche, Shoulder

LB Kyle Van Noy, Groin

DL Deatrich Wise Jr., Knee

FULL AVAILABILITY

No Players Listed.

NEW YORK JETS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE

TE Tyler Kroft, Back

LB C.J. Mosley, Hamstring

LIMITED AVAILABILITY

S Adrian Colbert, Concussion

DL Nathan Shepherd, Knee

WR Jeff Smith, Concussion

FULL AVAILABILITY

S Marcus Maye, Ankle

Onwenu Back to Right Tackle?

With starting right tackle Trent Brown currently on injured reserve, and the platoon of Justin Herron/Yodny Cajuste/Yasir Durant having been sub par in a fill-in role, Patriots fans have been clamoring for the team to move second year lineman Michael Onwenu back to the position.

As a rookie, the Michigan product allowed a pressure on just 2.9 percent of all pass protection snaps. He ranked fifth out of all the league’s offensive tackles with a minimum 200 snaps in 2020. His 84.3 overall grade [via Pro Football Focus (PFF)] was by far the best of any rookie offensive lineman

However, New England opted to start the 6-foot4, 350-pound lineman at left guard in 2021, taking over the role previously held by Joe Thuney. Once again, Onwenu has been highly graded at the position thus far. As a result, the Pats have been reluctant to move him from his newfound home on the offensive line.

Due to their woes on the right side, the Pats had little choice but to place Onwenu at right tackle in Sunday’s overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Per usual, he performed admirably, allowing one one pressure in 17 pass-blocking snaps. As the team prepares for the Jets on Sunday, they appear to be keeping him there. During the brief portions of practice reporters have been permitted to watch this week, Onwenu has been seen taking snaps at right tackle. Should this continue, he would be expected to get the start at the position.

Flight Interrupted?

In the first meeting between the Patriots and Jets this season, New York’s rookie quarterback Zach Wilson tossed four interceptions, en route to a 25-6 loss to the Pats. Two of those interceptions came from Pats’ cornerback J.C. Jackson. On Sunday, Jackson will be seeking his fourth straight game with an interception against the Jets. He can become the first player to have at least one interception in four straight games against a single opponent since Baltimore S Eric Weddle recorded the feat against the Cleveland Browns (2016-17).