Why Conor McDermott started over Trent Brown in Patriots’ loss to Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Patriots left tackle Trent Brown was surprisingly active Sunday as he continues to deal with ankle and knee injuries, but he did not start the team’s loss to the Giants.

Instead, Conor McDermott, who started the Patriots’ previous two games at left tackle and was signed to the 53-man roster off of the practice squad Saturday, started, and Brown rotated into the game.

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“Health reasons,” Brown said when asked why did didn’t start. “We talked about all week — my ankle, knee — still trying to get back and I think they did the best interest for me, I think so. I think they’ve done a good job of allowing me to feel my best. I think that showed today as well with the rotation. Got out there, I was feeling ok. Ended up playing a little bit more.”

Brown said this week that he has high and low ankle sprains and is dealing with a sprained MCL.

Head coach Bill Belichick said after the game that he felt both Brown and McDermott deserved to play.

Brown played 52 snaps to McDermott’s 16, per PFF.

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