Patriots comfortable keeping Mike Onwenu in new role moving forward

FOXBORO — The Patriots officially have a new right tackle.

Head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday morning that the Patriots are comfortable with starting Mike Onwenu at right tackle moving forward. Onwenu has been playing the role since Week 7, but Belichick wouldn’t confirm at the time that he would be sticking at the position.

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Onwenu moving to right tackle has allowed the Patriots to insert rookie Sidy Sow at right guard. Cole Strange has remained at left guard and David Andrews anchors the line from center. Trent Brown is the Patriots’ starting left tackle when healthy. He missed Sunday’s loss to the Commanders with ankle and knee injury, so Conor McDermott was elevated from the practice squad to start at left tackle.

Onwenu missed Week 1 after undergoing offseason ankle surgery. He dressed but didn’t play Week 6 against the Raiders after being listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

“Well, he really didn’t play in the Raiders game. So, it was after the Raiders game,” Belichick said when asked why the team felt comfortable with moving Onwenu. “So, yeah. Just trying to find the best spot for him and the best spot for the team. Just trying to put it together at that point. He really had played off and on, didn’t play against the Raiders and then we just felt like going into the following week, the Buffalo week that that’ll be — so we did that. That’s kind of the way it’s going.”

Onwenu, who’s primarily played right guard throughout his NFL career, currently ranks 74th out of 149 qualified offensive linemen in overall PFF grade.

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