FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Let's go "three and out" with some of the hot New England Patriots-based topics on Twitter:
Bryan Stork will be eligible to return to game action next week, as it will have marked his eighth week on the injured reserve/designated to return list. He's been present at practice since the start of last week. This is the classic "high class" problem because you'd rather have too many good players than not enough of them, and the Patriots have the benefit of time on this one as David Andrews has shown he's capable of holding the fort. So it's not as if they need to rush into this decision. Both players are really pure centers, and while they could potentially play guard, I don't see that as a likely option as long as Josh Kline (playing very well right now), rookies Shaq Mason and Tre Jackson, and veteran Ryan Wendell are healthy and available for action. A more likely scenario might be a rotation at center with Andrews teaming up with Stork as Stork builds up his stamina. I'd be hesitant to pull Andrews out of there for an extended period right now, as I think he's played well.
@MikeReiss does stork get that job back? Can either of them play any other position on the line?— Mad Matt (@mdeschenes17) October 26, 2015
I don't see Jerod Mayo being traded, with the combination of his salary and limited playing time two factors that makes it highly unlikely. It's been eye-opening to see Jonathan Freeny playing over Mayo as the No. 3 linebacker the last two weeks and I wonder if there are lingering effects from Mayo's significant injuries the last two seasons because he's not even playing on the punt coverage team. Mayo is a great leader and an asset to have around the team. He would be a great coach and over the last two weeks, that has essentially been his role. It makes me wonder if he would have been better off opening the season on the physically unable to perform list. I wouldn't write him off just yet, but the reduction in his on-field contributions has been hard to miss.
@MikeReiss Mike it's a shame to see this happen to Mayo but young guys r really stepping up. Do u think he could be traded before deadline?— Jesse V (@Patswillwinit) October 26, 2015
No reason to worry about Malcolm Butler, as he's still growing into the job. He has seven career starts. I didn't think Sunday was his best performance, as his coverage wasn't as competitive on a consistent basis. Part of that is also tied to an inconsistent pass rush. All the tools are there to work with, and it's just going to take some time. I see some similarities between him and Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes, as both entered the league as undrafted free agents from smaller schools and there's a process of development that has to unfold. It seems fair to say that there will probably be some more struggles ahead for Butler, but his hard-working, never-satisfied approach is going to give him a great chance to continue to get better.
@MikeReiss Should we be worried about BUTLER? He just isn't that good. he gets burned by average WRs week in and week out!— Anderson (@Anderso09791611) October 26, 2015