This key Patriots contributor is reportedly expected to miss the OTA


New England Patriots guard Mike Onwenu during an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on Sunday, November 14, 2021.
Mike Onwenu was injured in New England’s regular-season finale against the Bills. (Winslow Townson/AP Image)

When the Patriots begin their OTA at Gillette Stadium this week, one of their top offensive linemen will not be on the field in Foxborough.

Guard Michael Onwenu will not be participating in the OTAs after undergoing surgery in the offseason to treat a lingering ankle problem, according to ESPN’s Mike Reese.

Onwenu was perhaps New England’s most consistent O-line regular last season.

The 25-year-old Michigan player suffered an ankle injury during the fourth quarter of the season-ending game between the New Englanders and the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 8, Reese said.

After Buffalo defensive lineman Daquan Jones landed on Onwenu’s foot, he stumbled off onto the field and missed his only snap (six) of the entire 2022 season.

It’s unclear how long Onwenu will be out, but there are still more than two months before training camp officially begins.

Onwenu is expected to be a key cog in the Patriots’ offense in 2023, especially when Bill O’Brien and Adrian Clem replace him.

In 17 games in 2022, Onwenu recorded only one sack and two quarterback hits, solidifying the inside O-line behind David Andrews and Cole Strange.

The biggest challenge for the New England offense remains tackling. Trent Brown and Riley Leaf are currently expected to start, with Calvin Anderson and Conor McDermott serving as backup options.

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