Surprising Reunion Reflects Patriots’ Desperate Need for Offensive Line Help

The Patriots are grasping at straws.
The Patriots brought back a familiar face during Tuesday's practice.
The Patriots brought back a familiar face during Tuesday's practice. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have had a lot of issues on offense this season. Mac Jones, Bill O'Brien, a lackluster wide receiver corps, an ineffective ground game and Bill Belichick himself are all to blame, but the biggest problem has arguably been the offensive line. If you can't protect your quarterback and can't open up holes for your running backs, you're not going to have much success moving the football.

The Patriots have done a lot of shuffling in an effort to fix their offensive line, but none of it has worked. They still appear committed to trying, however, as a familiar face surprisingly re-appeared at the first practice of Week 7 on Tuesday.

Patriots Sign Conor McDermott

New England reunited with offensive tackle Conor McDermott on Tuesday, signing him to the practice squad. He was spotted on the practice field Tuesday wearing No. 75.

McDermott is back with the Patriots after a brief stint away from the team. New England originally signed him last November off the New York Jets' practice squad. McDermott appeared for 6 games for the Patriots down the stretch and was a full-time starter for them, appearing in 100% of offensive snaps during those contests.

McDermott opened the 2023 season on IR and was waived by New England prior to Week 1. However, with Malik Cunningham being elevated to the active roster last week, there was an opening on the practice squad and McDermott took it.

He was solid but unspectacular for the Patriots last year, but at this point that would represent an improvement. Vederian Lowe has not been the answer at right tackle that New England was looking for when it traded for him prior to the season, so McDermott will likely get a chance to win his old job back.

Still, this move reeks of desperation for the Patriots and shows how helpless their offensive line is. The fact that they had to re-sign someone they released just last month because he might be an upgrade says all you need to know about their current mess.

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