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Patriots guard Cole Strange may be out until middle of 2024 season, according to report

Breaking down the 2024 Patriots schedule
Breaking down the 2024 Patriots schedule 09:49

BOSTON -- After Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo put a "month to month" timeframe on Cole Strange's recovery on Monday, we probably should have seen Tuesday's news on New England's starting left guard coming.

According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, Strange is expected to miss the start of the 2024 season and "may be out until the middle of the season" as he works his way back from a "significant" knee injury. 

The unfortunate news could be the beginning of the end for the much-criticized first-round pick in New England. 

Strange was seen more as a late-Day 2 or Day 3 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but Bill Belichick took him with the 29th overall selection. The Chattanooga product started all 17 games his rookie season despite some obvious growing pains, and then 10 more in 2023. He's started every game that he's played in for the Patriots.

But he was injured in New England's Week 15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last season and missed the final three games of the campaign. He was placed on injured reserve in December, and will likely start the upcoming season on PUP.

He could also be a cut candidate come late August, as Strange has had his share of struggles over his two NFL seasons. The New England offensive line as a whole was a mess in 2023, allowing 48 sacks last season. 

Atonio Mafi, whom the Pats drafted in the fifth round in last year's draft, took over for Strange at left guard after he went down, but it was second-year guard Sidy Sow taking reps in Strange's place on Day 1 of the New England's OTAs on Monday. Sow, Mafi, and rookie Layden Robinson could all get extended looks at guard throughout the offseason program and during training camp, as the Patriots look to plug a hole on their offensive line.

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