Thuney Officially OUT of Super Bowl LVIII

Former New England Patriots blocker Joe Thuney will have to watch his chance for a fourth Super Bowl from the sidelines.

With the historic implications involved, Super Bowl LVIII already feels like a losing cause for New England Patriots fans no matter who prevails in Sunday's championship tilt between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS). 

One of the few reasons for Patriots fans to harbor a rooting interest has been wiped out: in announcing the activation of running back Jerick McKinnon, the Chiefs' corresponding move was to place offensive lineman and former Foxborough protector Joe Thuney (pectoral) on injured reserve. 

Thus ends Thuney's third season on a five-year, $80 million contract inked with Kansas City during the spring of 2021. The third-round pick from the 2016 draft sustained the injury during the Chiefs' Divisional round victory in Buffalo and was kept out of their AFC title game tilt in Baltimore entirely. Thuney did not practice in the lead-up to the big game in Las Vegas and will thus be forced to watch Kansas City play for his fourth ring. 

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY

Thuney is in the unique position of having provided protection for both Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, often referred to as the top passers of the new century. The North Carolina State alum reflected on his unique position in history earlier this week.

“I have to pinch myself,” Thuney told Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston. “It’s remarkable. I can’t believe it. (I'm) just so fortunate to get drafted by the Patriots, spent great years there, signed with the Chiefs. What an organization as well. I've got to pinch myself. It’s just… It’s insane.”

While he has made a name for himself protecting the league's greatest passers, Thuney has developed a strong reputation through his own talents. This season saw Thuney nominated for his second straight Pro Bowl Games and he was also bestowed first-team All-Pro honors. Thuney was a starter on last year's Kansas City group that downed Philadelphia in Super Bowl LVII and was also on the Patriots' line for the triumphs in the 51st and 53rd editions. 

Related: 'Next Joe Thuney': Scouts See All-Pro Potential in Patriots' Cole Strange

With Thuney out, Kansas City will turn to depth veteran Nick Allegretti at left guard. Allegretti previously held the same role in Super Bowl LV, which saw the Chiefs fall by a 31-9 final to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers group led by Brady.

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