AFC East Notes: Thuney, Dolphins, Sanders, Patriots

Patriots guard Joe Thuney is expected to undergo foot surgery and is likely to miss the team’s entire offseason program but is expected to be ready for training camp, which was first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss and confirmed by Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (on Twitter).

Thuney is projected to start at left guard for the Patriots, where he’s started all 16 regular-season games the last two seasons since the Patriots took him in the third round of the 2016 draft. He’s missed just nine snaps since being drafted by the Patriots.

The 25-year-old is one of a select group of returning starters to the Patriots offensive line, with tackles Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming departing in free agency this offseason. The Patriots currently have Marcus Cannon, Ted Karras, Matt Tobin and James Ferentz as guard depth on the roster.

Reiss opines that recently-drafted Isaiah Wynn, who’s currently slated to take over as the team’s left tackle, could shift over to help at guard if Thuney were to miss any time in 2018. He also notes that Karras would’ve been the team’s in-house option to take over at guard had there been an injury at the position last season.

Here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • Former Florida Atlantic kicker Greg Joseph, who signed with the Dolphins after the draft, is expected to be in an open competition with Jason Sanders, who the team selected in the seventh round of the draft, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Joseph spent time last season working with former Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey, who signed with the Bears this offseason.
  • Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi explained some of the rationales behind drafting Sanders in the seventh round of New Mexico, despite his 71-percent conversion rate in college. Rizzi stated, via Jackson, that the team didn’t look heavily into his percentage due to faults in collegiate special teams operations, such as faulty snaps and holds.
  • The Patriots have yet to designate a defensive coordinator following the departure of Matt Patricia to the Lions, though a logical candidate seemed to be linebackers coach Brian Flores. Though he won’t have the designation of defensive coordinator, Flores will take on many responsibilities attached to the position. The Patriots have done in this in the past with assistants like Bill O’Brien, not giving assistants the job title despite performing many of the job’s functions. To his part, Flores is not focusing on his title. “I’ve never been big on titles,” Flores said, to Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. “I’m here to work. I’m here to help this team win any way I can. I think I’ve always said that in some form or fashion.”
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One comment on “AFC East Notes: Thuney, Dolphins, Sanders, Patriots

  1. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Given the flak the Lions are taking for hiring Patricia, it’s amazing that no one says a word about the Patriots employing him for years.

    If the Lions are incompetent and/or morally suspect for hiring Patricia, what does that make the Pats for hiring him?

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