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Patriots activate OL Isaiah Wynn (toe) from IR

The much-desired help on the offensive line is on its way to Foxborough.

Isaiah Wynn is coming.

The New England Patriots have activated the tackle off injured reserve, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported, per a source informed of the roster move. The team later announced the move and the corresponding transaction of placing wide receiver Gunner Olszewski.

Selected in the first round of the 2018 draft, Wynn was chosen as a likely successor and long-term option for the Patriots at left tackle. He spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a torn Achilles suffered in the preseason, which allowed him a full campaign to learn from veteran Trent Brown and longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. With Brown off to Oakland via free agency, Wynn's time arrived in 2019 -- and was cut short by a toe injury after two games.

The tackle is returning just in time for the stretch run to provide protection for Tom Brady and to help jump-start a Patriots rushing attack that has disappeared in the last month. There's no guarantee he'll do either, but he's likely a better option than his temporary replacement, veteran Marshall Newhouse, who ranks 113th among all offensive linemen in the NFL in pass blocking grade (63.4), per Pro Football Focus. He's tied for 161st in pressure percentage, allowing a pressure on 7.9 percent of snaps. And perhaps worst of all, his run-blocking grade (51.2) leaves him ranked 74th among all tackles in the NFL with at least 100 snaps played.

Wynn's numbers in a much smaller sample size are more encouraging (65.9 run-blocking grade, 77.4 pass-blocking grade), but frankly, his return would be encouraging regardless of these metrics. Wynn represents the future, which almost always is accompanied by hope. Patriots fans hope he'll be an upgrade and help this offense lift itself out of the bog in which it has been mired for the last month.

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