Key Patriots offensive lineman reportedly set to miss the start of OTAs this week

New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles
New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

As the Patriots prepare for the official start of their offseason organized team activities this week, it appears they will be without one of their most vital pieces to the offensive line.

ESPN's Mike Reiss reported on Sunday that starting right guard, Mike Onwenu will be absent from the voluntary workouts as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. Reiss shared that the injury was a lingering issue for the lineman throughout the 2022 season, which worsened from a hit in the last game of the year against the Buffalo Bills.

"Onwenu was on course to play every snap last season until the fourth quarter of the final game when 317-pound Bills defensive lineman DaQuan Jones landed on the back of his legs. Onwenu, who was already playing through an ankle injury, crashed to the ground in a heap. That led to him missing his only six snaps of the season and ultimately carried into the start of the offseason."

It's unfortunate to see the star lineman miss any time from the team's offseason. However, it's also lucky that it is still early in the year, and being away from voluntary workouts is certainly better than missing any preseason practices.

Onwenu is projected to continue playing a pivotal role in the ever-improving offensive line, particularly with the additions of Riley Reiff, Calvin Anderson, and the incoming rookies from the 2023 draft class.

Since joining the team from the 2020 draft, Onwenu quickly skyrocketed to star power as he impressed with his abilities on the line. In addition, he has consistently displayed his versatility and reliability, which will become even more vital as the line works to dramatically improve from their underwhelming 2022 season.

With new o-line coach Adrian Klemm and trusted veterans prepared to be precisely what the team needs, the unit is expected to perform far better than they were under the inexperienced eye of Matt Patricia.

The timetable for Onwenu's recovery is TBD, but minicamp doesn't begin for another three weeks, leaving the door open for him to return sooner than later.