The New England Patriots have already had 2 players opt out of the 2020 NFL season with COVID-19 safety concerns, and a third could be on the way.
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UPDATE: Cannon Has Decided to Opt-Out
Marcus Cannon is a cancer-survivor and has decided not to play in 2020 with the COVID-19 safety concerns.
Marcus Cannon Mulling His Options
On Monday, the Patriots recently-signed fullback Dan Vitale, but he and Najee Torman, a veteran offensive lineman who spent all of last season on the practice squad, have elected to sit out the 2020 NFL season because of concerns about safety related to COVID-19.
Marcus Cannon hasn’t made his intentions known, but rumors are swirling from a variety of outlets that Cannon is considering following Vitale and Torman’s lead.
Cannon is a three-time Super Bowl champion who has spent all nine of his seasons in the NFL with the Patriots. The starting right tackle has been one of the Patriots’ highest-graded players over the past three seasons.
The Odessa, Texas native is still only 32 years old, so he has a lot left in the tank. If he does not play, it will be understandable as health, safety and family come before football. However, the Patriots will suddenly have a massive void to fill on their offensive line, which has consistently been one of the team’s most dependable units.
Who Steps in For Cannon if He Opts Out?
As of right now, Korey Cunningham would be the next man up on the depth chart at right tackle and Justin Herron is listed as the third-stringer. There’s also Yodny Cajuste who missed his entire rookie season in 2019 with an injury.
Cunningham is a 25-year-old out of Cincinnati who hasn’t gotten a lot of time to prove himself, but that might not be enough depth for the Patriots. With two spots on the roster to fill after bringing back the recently-released Will Hastings, the Patriots might look at the free-agent tackles remaining to add some necessary depth and experience at a crucial position.