New England Patriots rookie quarterback Malik Cunningham had a bit of a “welcome to the NFL” moment during the Patriots’ first preseason game of 2023 on Thursday night — albeit, a bit of an illegal one.
Late in the fourth quarter of the Patriots’ 20-9 loss to the Houston Texans, Cunningham was scrambling towards the sideline when he was taken down by Texans defensive back Jacobi Francis with a nasty facemask. The dirty tackle had the undrafted signal-caller’s head spinning like he was in the Exorcist!
Francis was flagged on the play, but even that 15-yard penalty doesn’t seem like punishment enough for his infraction.
Thankfully, Cunningham’s head was able to remain on his neck through all of that.
He was a little shaken up at the moment, but was able to remain in the game. He would go on to lead the Patriots’ offense to their only touchdown of the evening.
Cunningham has reportedly been impressing the Patriots thus far this summer (as a wideout and quarterback). And you’d have to think last night’s performance only furthered his case for a roster spot. Don’t be surprised if the former Louisville product beats out Trace McSorley as the Pats’ third-string quarterback, behind Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe.
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