The Patriots offensive line is officially 100% different after Jermaine Eluemunor’s injury on Sunday vs the Broncos.
Generally, you could count on the Patriots offensive line to mimic the consistency of the quarterback position for the past two decades.
Though the personnel under Dante Scarnecchia often changed, his innate ability to coach up a series of moving parts came to define the unit, with bulky beasts like Trent Brown often cashing in elsewhere after learning Scarnecchia’s lessons.
This season, the Patriots had better hope that his wisdom was imparted on a series of backups before he left this offseason. Because following Jermaine Eluemunor’s injury on Sunday, the team is officially playing with five different players in five entirely different positions than the Week 1 alignment.
Cam Newton, not quite so fresh in the first half of this contest after an extended break from practice, held onto the ball so long that one of the OL’s bright spots found himself laid up. Not great.
It’s not as if the Pats are bereft of talent on the line just because changes had to be made, though. Joe Thuney was fully prepared to work out at center this offseason, and should seamlessly handle his duties. Michael Onwenu has been a revelation, standing out as one of Pro Football Focus’ very best players in the league, let alone rookies, let alone linemen.
Hjalte Froholdt, the newbie and 2019 fourth-rounder, remains the lone unknown.
Just because there’s uncertainty here doesn’t mean the Patriots are ill-equipped to handle it.
But it is remarkable that in a season unlike any other, so much can change so quickly about the team’s best-laid plans.
Without Scarnecchia in the room on a daily basis for the first time in decades, the Pats are facing the most upheaval they ever have up front. The latest addition to the menagerie is Froholdt, and we hope he fits right in the way Onwenu has.