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Starting center Bryan Stork's status for Patriots' opener is uncertain

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots starting center Bryan Stork was absent at practice for the third day in a row on Tuesday, putting his status for Thursday's NFL opener against the Steelers further in question. Stork, who didn't play in the preseason, is listed on the injury report with a concussion.

The 2014 fourth-round pick from Florida State was credited with being part of the solution last season when he entered the starting lineup in Week 4.

If Stork doesn't play, undrafted rookie David Andrews and seven-year veteran Ryan Wendell would be top candidates to fill the void.

One thing to consider with Wendell is that he underwent offseason shoulder surgery and didn't come off the active/physically unable to perform list until Aug. 25. He only played in one preseason game, the Sept. 3 finale vs. the Giants, and was on for just 15 snaps.

Given that background, Wendell might not be ready to go wire to wire in a regular-season game.