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Patriots News Blitz 7/21: Veteran offensive line will be counted on

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Joe Thuney comes in at number four in Doug Farrar's rankings of the NFL's 11 best offensive guards for USA Today's Touchdownwire. Shaq Mason garners honorable mention as well.

Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston has the latest on the negotiations between the NFL and the players, which reportedly locked down COVID-19 testing protocols as well as going down to potentially zero preseason games. It would seem that things are on track to see camps open next week, albeit with a strength and conditioning ramp-up period that means we likely won't see real training camp practice in football pads until mid August. The big remaining hurdle? The economics of it all, especially if the season is cut short by the pandemic.

Christopher Price of the Boston Globe has more on the impact of no preseason games, which will adversely affect the lower end of the roster where the Patriots traditionally have at least one undrafted rookie making their squad. Might be much tougher this season without a chance to shine in game action. But Phil Perry thinks there could be some Patriots who benefit.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald wonders how the departure of Dante Scarnecchia will affect the offensive line, who has major questions beyond the starting five. The Herald's Andrew Callahan takes a look at how Cam Newton beat the Patriots twice.

Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard takes a look at five veteran Patriots who could be on the bubble this summer, while Tara Sullivan of the Boston Globe spoke to Gus Malzahn about the Patriots two Auburn quarterbacks.

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