Patriots place starting RT Marcus Cannon on injured reserve

November 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (61) blocks San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. The Patriots defeated the 49ers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots made a couple of official roster moves on Wednesday, adding free agent wide receiver Kenny Britt on a two-year contract and placing starting right tackle Marcus Cannon on season-ending injured reserve.

The Britt signing was reported Tuesday, but had not yet been made official. However, it’s the loss of the team’s starting right tackle that’s the focus here.

Cannon has not suited up in a game since Week 8 with an ankle injury. But by keeping him on the active roster, New England was holding out hope that he’d be able to return this season. That’s obviously no longer going to be the case.

Cannon started each of the first seven games for New England this season and started all 15 games in which he appeared last year.

His absence has had a direct correlation to Tom Brady being sacked nearly twice as many times thus far this season than he was in 2016. Fresh off a horrendous performance against Miami this past Monday night, it remains to be seen how Cannon’s continued absence from the lineup will impact Brady.

New England takes on a Pittsburgh Steelers squad that boasts the AFC’s best record this upcoming Sunday. Pittsburgh has racked up the second-most sacks in the NFL this season. Obviously, that’s not an ideal scenario for Brady and Co.