Wynn, the blindside protector of rookie quarterback Jones, didn’t practice all week
ORCHARD PARK, NY — The New England Patriots will be without starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn for Saturday’s AFC wild-card game against the Buffalo Bills as the team ruled him out with ankle and hip injuries.
Wynn, the rookie quarterback’s blindside protector MacJones, didn’t practice all week after leaving the final game of the regular season Sunday after just nine plays. Georgia’s 2018 first-round pick has battled multiple injuries during his NFL career, but this season has been the most consistent in terms of availability.
Wynn started 15 games and played 82% of the snaps on offense. He was one of 13 Patriots players listed as questionable for the game, a group that included starting safety Kyle Dugger (hand), rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore (right knee), starting defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and the starting linebacker Dont’ a Hightower (knee), among others.
Additionally, starting cornerback Jalen Mills remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, as does one of his backups, Shaun Wade.
The Bills, by contrast, did not include any players on their final injury report. As for how the Patriots will replace Wynn, the team has multiple options. Last week, the Patriots fielded 2020 sixth-round pick Justin Herron (Wake Forest) at left tackle. Herron started six games as a rookie and has started four this season, making 35% of the snaps overall.
Coach Bill Belichick noted that Herron, like many of New England’s second-year players, has experienced “great growth” this season. The Patriots also have the option of trading eight-year veteran Trent Brown from right tackle to left tackle, then elevating 2020 sixth-round pick Mike Onwenu (Michigan) to right tackle.