Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A look at Patriots' latest call-up, OL Cannon

The New England Patriots activated rookie offensive lineman Marcus Cannon from the reserve/non-football injury list Tuesday, months after the college standout was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft (138th overall) out of Texas Christian University, the 6-foot-5, 358-pound Cannon illustrated outstanding potential in his 49 games with TCU, which included 36 starts. He missed only two games in college with an ankle injury in 2008.

Cannon’s pre-draft resume includes versatility (he started 24 games at right tackle before moving to the left side his senior year), dependability (he didn’t allow a single sack in his final two seasons), productivity (he anchored an offensive line that led TCU to single-season records in touchdowns [70] and points scored [520]) and obviously size and resiliency.

He was ranked by many experts in the top 10 offensive tackles coming into the ’11 draft and top 50 in overall players. Cannon was a three-time All-Mountain West Conference selection and a third-team All-American his senior season, and a vital part to the production of one of the best offenses in the country.

Known by his college teammates around the NCAA as a hard worker and exceptional athlete, Cannon finished his cancer treatment in July and has been practicing for the last three weeks in remission. The Patriots had three weeks to decide if they were going to activate him or put him on injured-reserve list from his first practice. Tuesday at 4 p.m. was the deadline.

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