ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The New England Patriots will be without starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn for Saturday’s AFC wild-card game against the Buffalo Bills (CBS, 8:15 p.m. ET), as the team ruled him out with ankle and hip injuries.
Wynn, the blindside protector of rookie quarterback Mac Jones, had not practiced all week after leaving Sunday’s regular-season finale after just nine plays. The 2018 first-round pick from Georgia has battled multiple injuries over his NFL career, but this season has been his most consistent in terms of availability.
Wynn started 15 games and played 82% of the offensive snaps. He was one of 13 Patriots players listed as questionable for the game, a group that included starting safety Kyle Dugger (hand), disruptive rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore (right knee), starting defensive tackle Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower (knee), among others.
In addition, starting cornerback Jalen Mills remains on the reserve/COVID-19 list, as does one of his backups, Shaun Wade.
The Bills, in contrast, didn’t list any players on their final injury report. As for how the Patriots replace Wynn, the team has multiple options. Last week, the Patriots put 2020 sixth-round pick Justin Herron (Wake Forest) at left tackle. Herron started six games as a rookie and has started four games this season, playing 35% of the offensive snaps overall.
Coach Bill Belichick said Herron, like many of New England’s second-year players, has experienced “big growth” this season. The Patriots also have the option of flipping eight-year veteran Trent Brown from right tackle to left tackle, and then elevating 2020 sixth-round pick Mike Onwenu (Michigan) at right tackle.
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