The New England Patriots made a move on Saturday to shore up their offensive tackle situation. They elevated Connor McDermott from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. The move was made necessary after a surplus of injuries at the position for New England.
Conor McDermott was signed to the Patriots practice squad on October 17. He is a veteran of six NFL seasons with the Bills, Jets and Patriots. Last season McDermott started the final six games of the year at right tackle for New England, and held up well.
New England had originally placed McDermott on season-ending Injured Reserve before the start of the season with an undisclosed injury. On September 8 he reached an injury settlement with the Patriots, which removed him from IR and placed him on waivers. After going through that process, he was able to return to an NFL team this season as long as he was able to pass a physical.
There are definitely depth issues for the Patriots at offensive tackle. It appeared there were seven tackles on the original 53-man roster. Both Riley Reiff and Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. were options but are currently on IR. Calvin Anderson and Vederian Lowe were two other options but both have been ruled out for the Miami game. That leaves only three remaining tackles, who are all expected to be in the starting lineup for New England tomorrow.
Trent Brown, Mike Onwenu and Sidy Sow are other Patriots capable of playing OT. Last week they started at LT, RT and RG respectively. The assumption is the Patriots will have the have the same starting unit against the Dolphins. Having a reserve tackle in Conor McDermott, without needing to rotate others, is an important addition for New England.