Left tackles make the most money and get the attention of the occasional book and movie starring Sandra Bullock. But the Center position is similarly important, for its relationship with the quarterback and involvement in calling out blocking assignments. Looks like the Patriots are going to find out just how important.
Longtime Patriots center David Andrews has been hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs. Andrews started in New England's preseason game against Carolina just 7 days ago, so obviously this is a new and unexpected development. Andrews has been the Patriots starter since 2014, and has missed only two games the last three seasons. Now football looks like an afterthought; his health is the only concern being dealt with at the moment.
Andrews' backup is Ted Karras, a 2016 sixth-rounder who played guard in college. He's started five games the last three seasons. In the last few days New England has acquired a pair of linemen from other teams, a tackle from Arizona and a guard from Baltimore. Maybe New England is considering that guard, Jermaine Eluemunor, at center? We'll see. No getting around this looks like a big challenge for New England's offense -- whoever the starter is will have to build a familiarity with Tom Brady quickly.
In other news...
Mitch Morse (concussion) has been in the concussion protocol for Buffalo. He's one of their key free agent signings; they made him the highest paid center in the league to get him away from Kansas City. He's cleared the concussion protocol, though, so he should be fine for the start of the season. A good sign for those relying on the Bills offense.
Weston Richburg was activated from the PUP list and reinstalled as the 49ers' top center. He's dealt with a variety of injuries the last two years, but San Francisco liked him enough to give him a five-year, $47.5 million contract to pry him away from the Giants an offseason ago. Those of us investing in San Francisco's ground game, or Jimmy Garoppolo, hope the team knew what it was doing, and that Richburg is healthy and fine for Week 1.
The Packers are planning on going with second-rounder Elgton Jenkins at left guard, and will release Lane Taylor, according to reports. Media reports I've seen question the move, suggesting that Jenkins wasn't actually better than Taylor, but hey, second-round pick. In any case, it's a key spot for Green Bay's line, so we'll see how that works out. Taylor will probably find a job elsewhere.
The Browns traded Kevin Zeitler to the Giants, expressing confidence that the previous draft’s second-rounder, Austin Corbett, was ready to take over. Nope. Eric Kush was there, and now the Browns have traded two late-round draft picks to Buffalo for backup Wyatt Teller. They think he’ll be an upgrade, but the spot could still be a significant problem.
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