It’s a known fact that in the game of football injuries are bound to happen. Due to the intensity of the game and its sheer speed, these occurrences are common. It’s always sad when you see any pro go down. It’s even more unfortunate when one of the league’s elite shares this fate. Although, the worst scenarios are when young players are taken before their first season even starts. This was the curse put on Patriots first round pick Isaiah Wynn. Wynn tore his Achilles last night during his preseason reps against the Eagles.
When Wynn was originally carted off the field last night, original reports claimed he suffered an ankle injury. However, after more tests and information provided, it’s now known that instead he tore his Achilles and will miss this season. It’s a scary time for Patriots fans, as Achilles injuries have been known to have a long-lasting effects on players.
Since 2011, of the 46 NFL players to have torn their Achilles, 24 of them never played again. This is obviously a statistic nobody wants to see, but there is silver lining. For starters, a majority of those unable to return were running backs and linebackers. This was due to those positions being a lot more strenuous to the knee than a tackle position. Also, many players that called it quits were much older, and medical research even backs up how age is a factor. This helps the 21-year-old rookie on his road back tremendously. Eagles’ offensive lineman Jason Peters recently tore his Achilles and was able to make a full recovery.
How This Affects the Patriots
Wynn backed up starting right tackle Marcus Cannon in training camp. With Cannon out of practice the last few weeks, it has been fortunate to have had a player like Wynn fill in the shoes for the time being. With that said, all signs show Cannon will be back 100% for Week 1, not leaving any holes on that so far stellar offensive line. Even with the core starters not being affected, it leaves now a sense of hoping the Patriots don’t lose another lineman- specifically a tackle.
Currently, they have recently-acquired Trent Brown holding up the left side and swing tackle LaAdrian Waddle. Who will they look for, though, if any of those players fall, or if Cannon gets hurt again? With Wynn out of the mix for all of 2018, the Patriots will have to see who can stick out between the rest of their own. They currently have three more tackles on their roster; those being Ulrick John, Matt Tobin and Cole Croston. While none were first rounders, they’re going to have to take the next man up mantra for real.
Free Agency Pickups?
When you lose any player, obviously you want to hope that your backup players to step up. What if they can’t get the job done? Like mentioned, fortunately Wynn was the backup in this situation, so now they need a backup for him. While the Patriots have three potential options on the team, it’s safe to also look at who’s still on the market. The free agency market is usually pretty dry around August, but there is still some former starters looking for homes. Some of the biggest names still available are former Texan Chris Clark and former Giant Will Beatty. The Pats may not bring these names in right away to give their own guys a chance, but they’re definitely names everyone should look at.
It really is sad to see such great talent get injured before his season even started. All reporters have said Wynn will make a full recovery and be ready for the 2019 season. While New England fans may be upset, at least know we have depth, and an unfazed starting lineup. All we can do now is wish Isaiah a fast road to recovery!