According to reports, T/G Nick Kaczur could miss the season with a back injury. One thing that is certain is that he will likely miss significant time this season. The Patriots have said nothing about the injury prognosis or how much time Kaczur could miss. One positive is that the team has not placed him on IR, which would end his season for certain. Kaczur’s injury has exacerbated the problems at left guard. The starter for the past 5 seasons, Logan Mankins, has not been seen in Patriot-ville due to a contract dispute and Kaczur was looked at as his replacement. Now, the team has to turn to young, unproven players or veteran journeymen to man half of Tom Brady’s blindside. The list is less-than-stellar, so offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has his work cut out for him to try and keep Brady upright:
- Dan Connolly – 19 career games with 4 starts at right guard
- Rich Ohrnberger – appeared in 3 games last season, mostly on special teams
- Ryan Wendell – appeared in 2 games, mostly on special teams
- Ted Larsen – rookie
- Eric Ghaiciuc – played in 48 games with 42 starts with the Bengals, but did not play last season
Looking at the other offensive linemen, none have to size required to swing over from tackle to play guard. They either lack the weight or are too tall to get the proper leverage to play the position effectively. With the depth thinning at LG, one has to wonder: Will the Patriots be the first to blink in the stand-off with Logan Mankins? They may have to if they want to keep Brady, destined for a huge new contract soon, upright and healthy.