Cole Strange's Mysterious Knee Injury Finally Uncovered After Minicamp

The former first-round pick is reportedly rehabbing from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee that he suffered in Week 15 of the 2023 season.
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New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders / Chris Unger/GettyImages

The New England Patriots were handed a significant blow to their offensive line late last season as former first-round pick Cole Strange suffered a knee injury in Week 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

At the time, no one exactly knew what Strange’s injury was, but it was known that the 2022 draft pick would be out for the rest of the 2023 season. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported late last month that Strange is expected to miss the start of the 2024 campaign and may be out until the middle of the season.

Within that report, Rapoport never said what was Strange’s ailment, he just categorized it as a significant knee injury. However, it appears as if we have more information and clarification from ESPN’s Mike Reiss on what Strange is dealing with. 

Patriots News: Cole Strange Rehabbing From Torn Patellar Tendon

In his weekly notes column, Reiss wrote that Strange is rehabbing from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. The Patriots beat writer pointed out that this is a similar injury that first-year head coach Jerod Mayo dealt with when he was a player.

Mayo emphasized in the offseason that Strange was in the “month-to-month” category, which didn’t quell the nerves of Patriots fans. However, it makes much more sense now as this is an injury that Mayo has experienced and likely knows what it takes from a rehab sense.

Nonetheless, the Pats are prepared for Strange’s absence as they drafted Layden Robinson in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, who could become the starter at left guard to begin the 2024 season. 

If the Pats aren’t comfortable with starting Robinson at left guard, they could go back to Atonio Mafi, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Mafi started in five games last season as a rookie.

With New England having a brutal schedule to start the 2024 campaign, they will hope Strange can get back to full strength and help anchor an offensive line that is looking to improve from a disappointing 2023 season.

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