During this year's training camp, second-year center Bryan Stork was the Patriots' best offensive lineman. He looked great in team-drills and great in one-on-ones. His facial hair game was awesome. He was the undisputed starter at the position and, surrounded by questions at the guard position, the leader of the interior line.
However, Stork was never able to lead the unit as he was supposed to be. On September 10, he was placed on short-term injured reserve due to a concussion as well as a "muscle-related" neck issue. Because of the move, he had to sit out the team's first eight games; he was allowed to start practicing after six weeks of absence.
During those weeks, an undrafted rookie took Stork's place along the line – and he played admirably: David Andrews.
Andrews was the only offensive lineman to play 100% of the snaps this season, while the other members of Dave DeGuglielmo's unit were part of a rotation. The 23-year old made the line calls, developed a good-looking chemistry with Tom Brady and didn't stand out – which is a positive for an offensive lineman. Not one of his 489 snaps did look out of position. And while not all was perfect, Andrews got the job done.
The question now is: will he also get the job done with Stork back? The 24-year old former Florida State Seminole returned to practice prior to the Patriots' week 7 game against the New York Jets and barring a setback will be activated in the upcoming days. The coaching staff now has to ask itself whether to go with the hot-hand (Andrews) or the trusty veteran (Stork) moving forward.
What do you think the Patriots should do?