The New England Patriots had always planned on bringing in former New York Giants guard Mitch Petrus in for a workout on Tuesday, and the timing couldn’t have been better. On the Sunday before the workout, both Patriots starting guards Dan Connolly and Logan Mankins left the game with injuries in the first-half. Neither of them returned, and neither of them practiced yesterday.
Petrus was one of four players who was worked out on Tuesday, and he was the only one who was signed by the Pats. This is, of course, due to the injuries to Connolly and Mankins. Petrus is a versatile, mauling guard who can also play at the center position. However, he is a terrible pass blocker, and it showed last year in three fill-in starts with the Giants.
His poor pass protection is what keeps him from being anything more than solid depth, but solid depth is exactly what the Patriots need. Petrus has experience (23 career appearances) and has incredible strength on the inside of the line. Whenever he comes in to spell Nick McDonald or Donald Thomas, there won’t be a noticeable drop-off in the running game. Pass blocking is going to be a different story, but every mid-season free agent guard has his flaws.
Nick McDonald is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the NFL, and he is also a solid backup overall- it showed last week against the Buffalo Bills. He came right in and did a solid job after the injuries, and here’s what he told ESPN Boston about what his thought process is going into Week 11.
“I’m preparing the same way I do every week. You’ve got to be prepared to start, you never know what’s going to happen, no idea, so I think every week you’ve got to prepare as if you’re going to play 60 minutes. It’s the same, whatever the coaches ask me to do, whatever position they want me at, I’m going to play. Whether it’s any of the five spots I’m going to be playing, rotating in, whatever it is, whatever they want to be play, I’ll be ready.”
I love that mentality, and it exemplifies how every backup lineman should be. McDonald is a key backup for the New England Patriots, and he will play a large role in helping Stevan Ridley and the Patriots running game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
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