Marcus Cannon

Bill Belichick pays Marcus Cannon rare praise for playing sick

Bill Belichick pays Marcus Cannon rare praise for playing sick

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick did something he rarely does on Sunday night: He extended his postgame press conference longer than it had to be.

The reason? He couldn't let the moment pass without explaining just how impressed he was by his sick right tackle. So sick was Marcus Cannon, that the Patriots held him out of warmups. They held him out of eight plays during the game. Still, he played the vast majority of his team's snaps against the Cowboys and held his own. Belichick had to say something.

"I’ll just say one final thing then in closing that one of the real top efforts today would have to go to Marcus Cannon," Belichick said after his team beat the Cowboys, 13-9. "Marcus was, three days, just feeling under-the-weather. I honestly didn’t expect him to play today. We talked before the game, and he felt like he’d be able to work through it, so we tried to help him out a little bit there at the half.

"But, I would say overall, it was one of the top efforts I’ve seen. For a guy who just barely had enough strength to put on his uniform, went out there and played against multiple good football players."

The early returns from Pro Football Focus had Cannon down for just two pressures allowed against a formidable Cowboys defensive line that included former Patriot Michael Bennett as well as Demarcus Lawrence -- both of whom worked on the offensive right side Sunday.

"I thought he played very, very competitively," Belichick said. "Played tough, and is the kind of leadership and toughness that we have on this team, so that was a great job by Marcus."

"Marcus is one of the toughest guys around," said left guard Joe Thuney. "You can just feel how much he cares for this team. He wants to give it his all. It's great because he just gives everything he has. He's been here for nine years, and he's set an example for everyone since I got here. Great teammate, and an even better guy."

Of course, Cannon wasn't about to pat himself on the back after the game. Judging by how he looked, leaning on a chair in front of his locker stall, he probably didn't have enough energy to do that anyway.

Plus, that's just not how offensive linemen operate. Certainly not Patriots offensive linemen, who take their cues from their position coach Dante Scarnecchia, an old-school football boss if there ever was one. Their corner of the locker room is a self-promotion-free zone.

When Cannon was approached by a reporter after the game, he was asked how he was feeling.

"Great," he said, congested, his eyes swollen. "We got a win."

Cannon popped up on the injury report Friday with an illness -- the nature of which, of course, he didn't want to reveal. Whatever it was, how did Cannon put it out of his mind in order to play?

"Just like any of my teammates would," he said. "They'd do it for me so I'd do it for them. Go out there. Everybody's working together. I got Shaq [Mason] next to me making sure I'm all good. Tight ends are chipping and helping. Lotta help."

And that was just on the field.

"It took a lot of people," Cannon said. "Great training staff. Training interns, picking me up, driving me. My family. My wife. All of them are sick now. My teammates. But it was a big effort. I'm just thankful for everyone that helped me. Just love them all."

Cannon said he was "blessed" to be able to play. But his teammates weren't necessarily shocked to see him out there.

"Ah," Thuney said, thinking for a moment. "Not too much."

That's . . . just . . . Cannon.

"Yeah," Thuney said. "Pretty tough guy."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Patriots injuries: Belichick mum on Isaiah Wynn; Marcus Cannon misses practice

Patriots injuries: Belichick mum on Isaiah Wynn; Marcus Cannon misses practice

FOXBORO -- Will Tom Brady's blind side be better protected Sunday?

That's the hope for the New England Patriots, who activated left tackle Isaiah Wynn off injured reserve earlier this week.

Wynn seems likely to be available for the game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys and would replace left tackle Marshall Newhouse on the offensive line.

But coach Bill Belichick wouldn't confirm or deny Wynn's status before the Patriots' practice Friday.

"We'll see how it goes today," Belichick said. "We've had a couple days to kind of put everything together and see how things turned out.

"Sometimes when guys do a little more, they are good. Then sometimes there's a little soreness or maybe a little, I wouldn't say 'setback,' but maybe it doesn't come together as quickly as it might in other cases."

The Patriots may need all the help they can get up front. Right tackle Marcus Cannon was notably absent from practice Friday at Gillette Stadium after practicing Wednesday and Thursday.

If Cannon can't play for whatever reason, Newhouse likely would be tabbed to replace him, with Wynn taking over at left tackle if he's healthy enough for Sunday.

Wynn has played in just two NFL games after missing his entire rookie year due to an Achilles injury, but Belichick said Friday the first-round pick and Georgia product has been putting in the work off the field.

"Isaiah always works hard," Belichick said. "He did a lot of scout team work to get his timing back. He did some work against the defense. ... He’s always ready to go."

Injured wide receivers Mohamed Sanu (ankle) and Phillip Dorsett (concussion) both were present at practice Friday as they aim to get healthy before the showdown with Dallas.

UPDATE (3 p.m. ET): Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said Cannon missed practice due to illness.

Scarnecchia expects both Cannon and Wynn to play Sunday.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

This Patriots OL was Pro Football Focus' second-highest graded player of Week 9

This Patriots OL was Pro Football Focus' second-highest graded player of Week 9

The New England Patriots suffered a disappointing 37-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 9, but that doesn't mean there weren't any standout performers for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Pro Football Focus has released its top-graded players for Week 9, and Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon was the second-highest rated player. Cannon earned a 93.8/100 graded.

Here's what PFF's Austin Gayle wrote about Cannon's play against the Ravens:

Cannon was perfect in pass protection against the Ravens on Sunday night, allowing zero pressures across 48 pass-blocking snaps en route to a high pass-blocking grade for the week. Cannon also impressed as a run-blocker the few times New England went to the ground game.

The Patriots offensive line wasn't perfect Sunday -- quarterback Tom Brady was sacked twice and hit 10 times -- but Cannon certainly did his job.

New England's offensive line could receive a boost in a few weeks when talented left tackle Isaiah Wynn is eligible to be activated from injured reserve and return to game action. Wynn has not played since Week 2, and his replacement, Marshall Newhouse, has not performed at a high level in his absence.

The Patriots have a Week 10 bye and will resume their schedule in Week 11 with a road game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tom E. Curran: Did Patriots hold back vs. Ravens?

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.