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IR-Designated: Year of the Center

Hey, kids, it's the year of starting centers going on the IR-Designated to Return list. You all knew about Maurkice Pouncey in Pittsburgh. Yesterday, New England put center Bryan Stork on IR-Designated due to a concussion. The expectation is that the Patriots will slide Ryan Wendell back to center and start two rookie guards, Tre Jackson and Shaq Mason, but Wendell may not be ready to go tonight. That would mean the Patriots start undrafted rookie David Andrews in the season opener. An even bigger surprise in Minnesota today, where John Sullivan had back surgery today. The Vikings may have a better backup plan, with veteran Joe Berger stepping in at center. Both Sullivan and Stork are now out at least through Week 8.

Comments

1 comment, Last at 10 Sep 2015, 6:38pm

1 Re: IR-Designated: Year of the Center

The Patriots interior line scares me. Especially because pressure up the middle is the thing that impairs Brady the most, far more so than edge pressure.

The Pats could end up starting three rookies along the line tonight. Jackson apparently was viewed by scouts as "NFL ready", but Mason was described as a ferocious run blocker who struggles in pass protection. Andrews looked good in the preseason, but that was mostly against 2nd stringers, and he was presumably undrafted for a reason.

The backup options are Wendell, who is also injured, and Kline, who was a disaster last year. This is starting to soudn like the beginning of last year all over again. Maybe Brady woudl have been safer suspended for those first four games...