Cannon’s Return a Major Positive for the Patriots Rookie

If the last few months are any indication, whoever has to face Patriots offensive lineman Marcus Cannon doesn’t stand a chance.

Cannon, who for now has already beat a tough opponent in non-Hodgkins lymphoma, returned to practice yesterday for the first time this season.

The former fifth-round pick out of TCU had his world turned upside down earlier this year after he found out he had the disease just days before April’s draft. Most scouts had considered him as a second-round talent, but the news of his illness saw his stock plummet. However, Bill Belichick took a chance on him, and he’s hopeful now that Cannon’s healthy he can work his way into the lineup.

“He’s a good athlete,” said Belichick on Monday during his weekly appearance on WEEI. “He’s definitely been able to do some things here in between some of his treatments and things that he’s done. His strength level, his conditioning, his overall movement skills and all that have been impressive for his size. We’ll see how all that translates to the football field and experience and plays and so forth, if and when that happens.

“It’s definitely encouraging. Most importantly, I hope it happens for him. He’s worked hard. I know it’s important to him. I hope things clear up so he gets that opportunity. We’ll just take it day by day and see how it goes.”

The rookie is allowed to practice for up to three weeks before the team will have to decide to either promote him to the active roster or place him on injured reserve. Considering the injuries they’ve battled with so far this season, Cannon’s presence – provided he’s ready to go – could potentially come in handy in the final weeks of the season.

The fact it’s even a possibility is simply a great story and hopefully the beginning of a great career in the league. After all, he’s already defeated cancer. Taking on opposing defensive lineman should be a piece of cake.

You can read more on Marcus Cannon’s battle via this link from ESPN’s Rick Reilly from earlier this year. It’s a great story, so be sure and check it out.

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