Patriots to play AFC Championship game without starting center

Winning the AFC Championship game on Sunday will be a little tougher for the Patriots with the announcement that center Bryan Stork will miss the game against the Colts.

Stork suffered a knee injury against the Ravens a week ago. Ryan Wendell will now start at center in his place.

A fourth-round selection out of Florida State, Stork has played impressively as a rookie this season.

The Colts finished the 2014 season with 41 sacks, ninth in the NFL. They will need everyone to step up if they are to provide running holes and give quarterback Tom Brady time to throw. They were 26th in the NFL in sacks allowed.

If the Patriots do manage to win on Sunday they could have Stork back in time for the Super Bowl.

While the loss of Stork hurts the Patriots the good news for them is that they have no other significant injuries. Cornerback Brandon Browner will play as well linebacker Dont’a Hightower.