With Bryan Stork inactive for personal reasons, David Andrews filled void

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots' game of musical chairs along the offensive line continued in Sunday’s 33-16 win over the Tennessee Titans, as starting center Bryan Stork was inactive and undrafted rookie David Andrews stepped in.

Stork’s absence was described by coach Bill Belichick as a “coach’s decision” and it was later learned that Stork -- who had missed Friday’s practice -- has been grieving the loss of a close relative. He was present at Gillette Stadium on Sunday morning, with reporters seeing him depart in the 10 o’clock hour.

Andrews, who started the first 10 games of the season, returned to action and picked up where he left off as a valuable player along the line.

The change at center provides the springboard for this week's snap-count analysis:

Total offensive snaps: 66

Total defensive snaps: 62

Offensive tackle

LT Sebastian Vollmer -- 66

RT Marcus Cannon -- 66

C David Andrews -- 66

RG Tre’ Jackson -- 61

LG Shaq Mason -- 51

G Josh Kline -- 20

Notes: Mason (left) and Jackson (right) got the start at the guard spots, with Kline rotating in. ... Newly acquired LaAdrian Waddle, formerly of the Lions, was inactive after being claimed on waivers Wednesday.

Wide receiver

Brandon LaFell -- 62

Keshawn Martin -- 55

Danny Amendola -- 12

Leonard Hankerson -- 10

Matthew Slater -- 1

Notes: The breakdown reflects how the receivers were layered on the depth chart -- LaFell and Martin at Nos. 1 and 2, with Amendola the No. 3. When Amendola left the game late in the second quarter, that thrust Hankerson into the No. 3 spot. Hankerson, who had been claimed on waivers on Wednesday, played one snap in the first half and nine in the second half. His quick turnaround was reflected in him sometimes being told where he needed to line up. … Slater’s lone snap came in the second half when LaFell needed a quick breather.

Tight end

Rob Gronkowski -- 62

Michael Williams -- 50

Cameron Fleming -- 8

Notes: One week after playing 42 of 69 snaps against Houston as he was managed in his return from a right knee injury, Gronkowski was back to his usual role as an every-down player. The Patriots were in the two-TE package with Gronkowski-Williams for most of the snaps, in part due to injuries at receiver. … Fleming, an offensive tackle, was used an eligible receiver when the Patriots wanted to get bigger at the line of scrimmage. … Scott Chandler was inactive with a knee injury.

Running back

Brandon Bolden -- 28

James White -- 22

Joey Iosefa -- 20

Notes: Bolden started, and the 28 snaps were a season high for him. The trickle-down effect is that he wasn’t part of any of the special-teams units, which is his usual role. This is something the coaching staff will have to make a decision on from a roster-management perspective. Do they want to ride with Bolden as their top option and lose him on special teams, or shake things up by adding another running back to the roster (e.g. Steven Jackson is one possibility)?


Tom Brady -- 66

Notes: In his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI early Monday morning, Brady said the illness that knocked him out of Friday’s practice was minor compared to the ailments that many other players are managing.


Jamie Collins -- 62

Jerod Mayo -- 35

Dont’a Hightower -- 31

Darius Fleming -- 4

Jon Bostic -- 2

Notes: Even before he left in the third quarter with a left knee injury, Hightower wasn’t playing his usual full load of snaps as he returned from missing two games. That led to Mayo taking more snaps in two-LB packages, with Fleming coming on when the Patriots were in their base defense with three linebackers.


Logan Ryan -- 62

Malcolm Butler -- 59

Leonard Johnson -- 17

Justin Coleman -- 3

Notes: Johnson has passed Coleman as the nickel cornerback, but the Patriots played more of a “big nickel” in this game with three safeties, so Johnson's snap count was lower than last week against Houston (42 of 54). That was a result of the Patriots matching up against the Titans’ two-TE package.


Duron Harmon -- 62

Patrick Chung -- 53

Jordan Richards -- 30

Nate Ebner -- 18

Tavon Wilson -- 6

Notes: Richards’ 30 snaps were his second highest total of the season (33 vs. Indianapolis) as he filled out the “big nickel” against the Titans’ two-TE package, while Harmon stepped in for injured starter Devin McCourty in the deep center-field role. … Ebner’s 18 snaps were also a season high, as the Patriots’ safety depth was tapped with McCourty not playing and then Chung leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a hip injury.

Defensive end

Rob Ninkovich -- 42

Jabaal Sheard -- 41

Chandler Jones -- 37

Geneo Grissom -- 14

Notes: The top trio has a nice synergy going in terms of sharing snaps, keeping each other fresh, and then getting after it when they are on the field together in obvious passing situations.

Defensive tackle

Malcom Brown -- 36

Akiem Hicks -- 33

Alan Branch -- 29

Sealver Siliga -- 6

Notes: Brown, the 2015 first-round pick, continues to hold his own as the No. 1 man in the rotation offering a mix of stout play against the run and some pocket pushing, but the big story at this position the last few weeks has been Hicks. He’s making some big plays that have many taking notice, but he's also making plays for others by playing with power and consistently good technique inside.