The Patriots require offensive line reinforcements. It just so happens that Ezekiel Elliott knows the ideal candidate. Elliott developed a friendship with teammate Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La’El Collins from 2015 to 2021. Collins was released by the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday. The Patriots were already showing preliminary interest in the former starting tackle by Wednesday.
Elliott claimed on Thursday that he is close friends with Collins and would love to see his old colleague join him on the Patriots offense. “I’d love to see LC here,” Elliott said. “LC is one of my best friends. We’re super close. It’d be great to get him up here.”
Collins started 71 of the Dallas Cowboys’ 74 games. He began his career as a left guard before moving to right tackle from 2017 to 2019. Last season, he started 15 games as right tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals until suffering a ruptured ACL and MCL against the Patriots in Week 16.
He began the season on the Bengals’ PUP/reserve list, but the team released him, allowing him to become a free agent. On Wednesday, multiple sources informed MassLive that the Patriots were interested in Collins, but that this was due to the organization conducting due research on the player.
Elliott believes Collins might benefit a club like the Patriots. “LC, he’s a load,” Elliott said. “He loves to get his hands on people. He’s going to punch. He’s going to strike the heck out of you. He’s a vet.”
A strong case can be made that the Patriots should bring in another experienced lineman like Collins. This season, the squad has suffered with a slew of offensive line ailments. Riley Reiff, the team’s expected starting right tackle, was placed on injured reserve in Week 1. Cole Strange (knee) and Michael Onwenu (ankle) also missed the home opener versus Philadelphia that week.
It became worse this week. Concussions were sustained by both starting left tackle Trent Brown and starting right guard Sidy Sow against the Eagles. Neither has practiced this week, and both appear to be long shots to play against the Miami Dolphins this Saturday. Furthermore, Patriots starting center David Andrews has been hampered by a hamstring injury.