Patriots releasing 2017 draft choice Antonio Garcia

Antonio Garcia

Patriots releasing 2017 draft choice Antonio Garcia

The Patriots have released offensive tackle Antonio Garcia with a non-football injury designation, according to ESPN.

A few practices into training camp a year ago, Garcia was sidelined, and the Patriots put him on reserve/non-football illness when the season started. He was placed on the NFI list before the start of his rookie season in 2017, which Jeff Howe reported in March was due to blood clots in his lungs. The Patriots drafted offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and traded for offensive tackle Trent Brown.

Drafted 85th overall in 2017, the 24-year-old seemed like he was on track to return this season.

With left tackle Nate Solder gone to the Giants in free agency, Garcia was expected to be a candidate to replace him.

Garcia had returned to work as part of the Patriots' offseason program last month.

On Friday, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said he's happy with the team's linemen. But he also excelled when he was moved to left tackle last season as he earned first-team All-SEC and second-team All-American honors. "He's played left tackle in the best conference in America", said Scarnecchia.

A standout left tackle at Troy University, Garcia didn't allow a sack in over 900 snaps. "We'll see if that translates to this level".

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