Early in the first quarter of Sunday’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots tackle Trent Brown exited the game after suffering a calf injury. Brown would not return to action, but was later seen on the sidelines with a heavy wrap on his right calf.
Despite Brown’s less-than-ideal departure, the Patriots may have some cause for optimism on his prognosis. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brown’s injury is considered ‘minor’ and the team has described his status as ‘day-to-day.’ Schefter also indicated that the Pats are hopeful that their starting right tackle will be able to play this Sunday, September 19 against the New York Jets.
While Brown’s presence on the sidelines (in uniform) should have been a decent indicator that his injury was not serious, the nature of the wrap he was wearing did cause some concern.
In his absence, the Patriots turned to reserve swing lineman Justin Herron to play the fill-in role. The second-year offensive lineman repeatedly had difficulties on his blocks and found himself on the losing end of his matchups with Miami’s defensive front. This eventually led to his being replaced in the lineup by newly-acquired Yasir Durant. The Pats were also without another potential reserve tackle, Yodny Cajuste, who was inactive on Sunday while tending to a hamstring injury. As a result, the Pats struggled to protect quarterback Mac Jones, who was either hit, or hurried, on over 40% of his snaps.
The 28-year-old lineman returned for his second tour of duty with New England via an offseason trade with the Las Vegas Raiders. While the 6-foot-8, 380-pound lineman has undeniable prowess protecting the left side, the Pats have chosen to employ Brown as their right tackle. The Patriots are expected to boast of the deepest and most productive offensive lines in the NFL this season. Brown has repeatedly expressed his enthusiasm for being back in New England, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2018. When healthy, Brown joins Shaq Mason at right guard, David Andrews at center, Michael Onwenu at left guard and Isaiah Wynn at left tackle on the Patriots first-team offensive line.