New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

With Robert Gallery Retired, How Does New England’s Offensive Line Shape Up?

On a rather quiet Saturday in the National Football League, a shocking piece of news flashed through the headlines: New England Patriots offensive lineman Robert Gallery announces his retirement.

As soon as I heard the news, I was shocked—much like everyone else across the NFL.

Who would have thought that the 32-year-old would retire after just eight seasons in the league?

The now former Patriot, who spent less than five months with the team, was projected to make a run at a starting job. With left guard Logan Mankins recovering from ACL surgery and right guard Brian Waters having yet to report to training camp, many figured that Gallery would be one of the team’s starting offensive guards.

In fact, Gallery spent most of the offseason working at left guard, which indicates that his signing was nothing more than insurance behind Mankins, who underwent surgery back in March.

With Gallery gone, New England’s offensive line becomes even more of a mystery.

Will Mankins be healthy enough for Week 1? Will Waters choose to play this season? Who’s going to start at both guard positions if both players aren’t available?

The list goes on.

Entering the first week of the preseason, Mankins will likely stay on the physically unable to perform list while Ryan Wendell probably starting at left guard and Dan Connolly starting at right guard against the New Orleans Saints this Thursday.

It might be easy to assume that the Patriots are favorites to win the AFC, but I don’t remember a time when the team’s offensive line had as many question marks as it does now entering 2012.

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