Jul 24, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) runs through drills during training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Training Camp Notes: Center Battle Clearing Up, Gronk Progressing

The New England Patriots are seven practices into training camp, and thus far, we have nothing but positive things to report.

Coming into camp, one of the biggest positional battles we would be watching was who would win the center position. There were three potential candidates that could win the job, as Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, and Bryan Stork all have the talent to take it. Through the first couple days of camp, there were no real breakthroughs among these three players, but on Tuesday, Stork suffered a leg injury, and missed yesterday’s session.

From Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston:

Some important developments are unfolding at center, as rookie Bryan Stork (fourth round, 105th overall) walked off the field with a member of the athletic training staff midway through Tuesday’s practice and was absent for all of Wednesday’s practice. It appears he’s suffered some type of lower leg injury. Stork is expected to compete for a starting role, but in his absence, veteran Dan Connolly took the majority of reps Wednesday.

Connolly received most of the starting reps with Stork absent, which speaks volumes as to how the coaching staff views this battle. Connolly’s versatility could be what ultimately saves his roster spot in a few weeks, as Ryan Wendell is limited to the center spot. I personally want to see Stork win the job, but if this injury is serious, Connolly may end up starting in September.

Rob Gronkowski continued his “rehab”, as he is practicing in full pads, but has yet to participate in contact drills. However he did spend some time alone with Tom Brady and Darrelle Revis for the second straight day, showing he is progressing day by day.

All that matters is the big man getting healthy for the regular season, so however the coaching staff gets him there, is fine by me.

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