New England Patriots could be forced to reshuffle offensive line….again – The Republican – masslive.com (blog)
FOXBOROUGH — Ryan Wendell wouldn’t admit that Monday felt good for the much-maligned Patriots offensive line, a group that had been ridiculed by fans and media and had been reshuffled weekly by the coaching staff.
“You come in the next day and you start working on the next team,” Wendell said.
But let’s be real: Monday must have felt great. New England dominated Cincinnati in the trenches, and Wendell was productive in his first start of the season at right guard. On one play, he sealed Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko, then moved upfield to block linebacker Vincent Ray, allowing Stevan Ridley to burst through the hole for a 10-yard-gain.
There were other examples, as New England finally seemed to find the right mix on the interior offensive line: Dan Connolly at left guard, rookie Bryan Stork at center, and Wendell at right guard.
“As we settled into that game and started running the ball well, our rhythm started to develop,” Wendell said.
Connolly, Stork and Wendell each played every snap. There’s a solid chance that won’t be the case Sunday in Buffalo.
Stork, now with two career starts under his belt, missed practice Friday due to a concussion. He’s officially listed as questionable, but given that he suffered the concussion Thursday, it’s hard to imagine he plays. That puts the Patriots coaching staff in the bind it faced for the first month: Who goes where?
Marcus Cannon, who opened the season as a starting guard, could slide back into the lineup. Or maybe it’ll be Jordan Devey, who also began the year as a starter. Rookie Cameron Fleming made one start, at Kansas City, but hasn’t practiced since that Monday night debacle due to a finger injury. He’s been ruled out Sunday.
The solution: Make it work.
“It’s football,” Wendell said. “Guys get hurt. Guys go down. Things …read more