Patriots rookie fifth-round pick Marcus Cannon has been cleared to practice with the team and was out on the field earlier today. Cannon has been on the reserve/non-football injury list due to being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer. His cancer was discovered in his Combine physical, and he had been undergoing treatment for it since. His diagnosis dropped him in the draft from a borderline first/second rounder all the way down to the fifth round when he was selected by the Patriots. Now that he is cleared, the Patriots have three weeks from today to determine whether to place him on the 53-man roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
Cannon is a big boy at 6-5, 358 pounds, but those 358 are not a “sloppy 358,” as Bill Belichick noted earlier today. He brings versatility to the offensive line that the coaches love. He has experience in college at both tackle spots, and with his size, projects to play guard. In terms of depth, he would be most needed at guard, where there’s not much behind starters Logan Mankins and Brian Waters. At tackle, the Pats have Matt light, Sebastian Vollmer (if healthy), and rookie Nate Solder, which is a pretty good rotation already.
It would be a great story if Cannon is activated and placed on the 53-man roster. He, along with Giants LB Mark Herzlich, provide good examples that life doesn’t have to end with cancer, and that it not only can be beaten, but you can go back to your normal life. Here’s hoping that Marcus Cannon shows the coaches enough to be placed on the active roster.