stork IR

The Patriots on activated Bryan Stork of the short term injured reserve on Saturday. Stork was recovering from a concussion. By rule, the center’s placement on short term IR meant that he had to miss the team’s first eight games. In a corresponding move, the team placed offensive lineman Ryan Wendell on season ending injured reserve.

Both moves highlight the health issues the Patriots have had along the offensive line season. Wendell and Stork were both starters on last season’s Super Bowl XLIX champion team. New England will also be without starting left tackle and Super Bowl XLIX winner Nate Solder the rest of the season due to injury. With only a limited number of healthy linemen, the Patriots may choose to get creative in their approach.

Undrafted rookie David Andrews has filled in well in Stork’s absence, but Stork is the better player and would play center if everyone else was healthy. This could still end up being the case, but with the injuries up front the Patriots could choose to play both at the same time with Stork kicking out to guard or even tackle.

Stork, in his second season, began starting in week four last season and remained the starter through New England’s Super Bowl victory. As well as starting experience last year, he also has experience playing with rookie guard Tre Jackson, both were on the Florida State team that won a National Championship in 2014.

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Clay Buchholz (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

When the news came out on Wednesday that the Red Sox had exercised their option on Clay Buchholz, it seemed obvious and mystifying at the same time. The news itself was largely unsurprising, but the next step in the process remains unclear. For some reason the Red Sox were expected to pick up the $13 million option, even though Buchholz has become the very definition of unreliable in recent seasons. While some see the price as a relative bargain given how much starting pitchers are being paid around baseball, there is also a legitimate argument that the Red Sox could have been better off by allocating that money elsewhere. That argument is what makes Buchholz’s future team a mystery, as it is starting to make more sense by the day.

Continue reading Red Sox Keep Buchholz…For Now »

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1. Patriots – Redskins Preview:

* Redskins playoff wins since Dan Snyder bought team in 1995 – TWO

* Redskins wide receivers guaranteed monies $46mm / Patriots $12mm

* Field goal kicker Dustin Hopkins has a long of 54 yards

* Interestingly there were four Native American’s on the Redskins first team in 1933

* Previous owner George Marshall refused to sign a black player until Bobby Kennedy forced him to draft Ernie Davis (Davis would later force a trade to Cleveland)

2. College Football:

* Game of the week: Utah vs. Washington Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Bring on the Fighting Snyder’s »

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In Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Stars, Chris Kelly went down and suffered a freak injury that turned out to be a broken leg that will put Kelly out of game action for 6-8 months.

Before his fall, Dallas Star Colton Sceviour made light contact with his stick to Kelly’s hip region, which was initially thought to be the reason for Kelly’s fall and injury but with a quick second look at the play it is clear that the contact had nothing to do with the fall. Most likely Kelly’s knee/leg gave out or he hit a snag in the ice. Either way he will be out for a very long time. Continue reading Chris Kelly injured, out 6-8 months »

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Tom Brady continued his dominance on Thursday adding four more touchdowns. He celebrates this one with Julian Edelman. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

One of the best things about being a Patriots fan is having this luxury of knowing you’re going to the playoffs every year. Even more than that, you’re probably going to watch your team in the AFC Championship just like the past four years. In only week eight, the Patriots have basically wrapped up the AFC East. After emasculating the Dolphins on Thursday night they now have wins against each of their AFC East opponents. What’s more impressive is that score could have been a lot worse. The offense left a lot of first half points on the field as the defense was shutting the Dolphins down. That’s really nitpicking though as 36 points is nothing to bat an eye at.

– I genuinely hope everyone watching is really appreciating what Tom Brady is doing this season. What he’s doing at 38 years old is nothing short of amazing. On Thursday he went 26-38 for 356 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. That brings his totals on the year to 2,410 yards with 20 touchdowns and only one interception that came off a bobbled pass from Julian Edelman. He’s on pace to throw over 5,500 yards, about 47 touchdowns, and maybe have three interceptions. He’s more focused than he’s ever been and it was never more apparent than on one play in the fourth quarter. With the game already in hand with a score of 29-7, Brady took a sack after missing a read. He then slammed the ball and his fist in frustration. Even though the game was already over Brady wasn’t satisfied. He wants to leave no points on the field. Tom Brady wants to win this season more than he wants anything in the world and I don’t think there’s anyone out there who can slow him down.  Continue reading Notes and Observations, Week 8: Patriots Virtually Clinch AFC East in 36-7 Win Over Dolphins »

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There was plenty of action on the field during the Patriots impressive 30-23 win over the New York Jets on October 25. It turns out that there was also plenty of action going on inside the walls of Gillette Stadium, as two Patriots employees fell under suspicion of Jets and NFL officials.

Prior to the game, NFL officials swept the Jets locker room for listening devices. Although the NFL has said it was part of their usual random checks, reports have leaked out that the Jets requested such a sweep to take place. It was mentioned in two separate news stories in September that several teams suspected the Patriots of bugging locker rooms, but there is no proof and the Patriots have never officially been accused of such activity. Most evidence points to this being a random check, but conspiracy theories are sure to develop.

While the game was taking place, a Jets security official became suspicious of three Patriots employees that were wearing headsets. Both employees were questioned during the game. One of them required a phone call to the league office because the questioner did not believe his story of being responsible for the referees batteries. After questioning, it was determined that no employee did anything wrong and they were allowed to continue working.

Had the Jets security personnel had a better understanding of who is in charge of referee equipment, at least the second part of the second incident could have been avoided. The first part could likely have been a case of Patriots paranoia. It is understandable that a Jets team employee would want to make sure that everything was on the level during his team’s game and in most cases this would not have made many headlines. But in New England, everything is a big deal.

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1. Patriots round up after seven games:

* Teams are 2-4 in the week after playing the Patriots

* From Mike Reiss on ESPN – Vince Wilfork has never experienced a season with more than 6 losses – Houston already has six losses

* Since 2009 – the Patriots are 27-24 when they score 30 points or less in a game

* Patriots draft picks – Only two offensive starters were taken by the Patriots in the first three rounds – Vollmer, Gronk

* In 353 rushes / receptions – the Patriots have lost one fumble (imagine if they lost ten – Felger…..)

* Long kickoff return for the Patriots this year – 29 yards

* Players from each of the last five year drafts on roster: 2010 – 2 of 12 /2011 – 2 of 8 / 2012 – 3 of 7 / 2013 – 4 of 7 / 2014 – 5 of 8 / 2105 – 8 of 11 Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: 53 Shopping Days Left »

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