FOXBORO, Mass. — It sure sounds like the New England Patriots are getting their left tackle back Sunday when they take on the Dallas Cowboys.
Isaiah Wynn is eligible to play for the first time since Week 2, after which he was placed on injured reserve with a toe injury. Wynn has avoided the injury report this week, though head coach Bill Belichick tempered expectations for Wynn prior to Friday’s practice.
“Yeah, we’ll see how it goes today,” Belichick said. “We’ve got a couple days, and then we’ll put everything together and see how things turn out after the first two days. Sometimes guys do a little bit more and are good and sometimes a little soreness or maybe a little bit — I don’t want to say setback but it’s not — when it all comes together, it doesn’t come together as quickly as it might in other cases. We’ll see how it goes today. …
“Isaiah always works hard. He did a lot of scout-team work to get his timing back and all of that, working against the defense. He works hard. He’s always ready to go.”
The media spoke to offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia after practice. Scarnecchia made it sound like Wynn is good to go.
“I think the positive part, and I’m not speculating on anything he thinks, but I think for me personally when Isaiah came here, he came here with the shoulder that had been surgically repaired,” Scarnecchia said. “He was late getting into training camp. I’m not sure he was every very strong prior to his first year.”
Wynn tore his Achilles early last season and missed spring practices and the beginning of training camp this summer.
“I think right now what we’re seeing is a guy that’s really completely healthy, stronger than he’s been, and we thought he was a good player when we went into the season, and we think even that much more of him now, and we think we’ve got a guy that’s completely healthy,” Scarnecchia said. “None of us can predict the future, but we all want the best for this kid. He’s really a good guy.”
Scarnecchia said he’s “really confident” in Wynn.
“Isaiah, I really like Isaiah,” Scarnecchia said. “I like the person, I like the player. And we all like the person. We like the player. And we just gotta keep him out there. That’s really important. So, we’ll see how it all goes.”
Some more notes from Friday’s media availability:
— Right tackle Marcus Cannon missed practice Friday, but he’s expected to play Sunday against the Cowboys, as well.
“He’s sick,” Scarnecchia said. “He had a flare-up, allergy-deal yesterday. He was coughing the whole practice. So, trainers determined he was best at home today. He’ll be out there. If he doesn’t, I’m playing. And then we’ve all got troubles.”
— Wide receiver N’Keal Harry made his NFL debut last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Wide receivers coach Joe Judge gave a positive update on Harry as the 2019 first-round pick heads into this second career game.
“N’Keal is competing as hard as he can right now,” Judge said. “He missed a lot of ball from his injury to when he came back. He’s getting better every day and really his whole focus is progressing every day. And he’s doing that. And every day you’ll be happy if a guy comes out, gives you 100 percent, takes a step forward.”
— The Patriots haven’t used Julian Edelman as a punt returner this season for the first time in the receiver’s career. They began the season with Gunner Olszewski as their punt returner. Olszewski was placed on injured reserve with hamstring and ankle ailments, and Mohamed Sanu took over those duties Sunday. Sanu suffered an ankle injury while returning a punt in Week 11.
So, is there a reason why hasn’t Edelman been back there catching punts?
“No, we’re trying to use everyone on the roster right now and develop everyone completely,” Judge, who’s also the Patriots’ special teams coach, said. “Julian’s very involved with the receiver role and punt returner role as he’s always been. As you see in pregame warmups or you see early in practice, we’re truly using everyone on our team right now in all of those specialty roles.”
It’s unclear who will return punts Sunday if Sanu can’t go. The options likely would be Edelman, Harry or Jakobi Meyers.
— Sanu was spotted in the locker room Friday and seemed to be moving around well. He declined to speak to reporters, however.
— Patriots safeties coach Steve Belichick was asked who’s calling defensive plays this season. Belichick took that as an opportunity to cut his media availability short, which drew some laughs from reporters.
— Steve Belichick was asked about his first memories of football. He said he remembered watching ESPN’s “NFL Countdown” while living in Cleveland while his father, Bill, was coaching the Browns.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images