Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/1/13
A lot can change in one offseason. By the time the Patriots take the field for their next regular season game on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m., there’s really no telling which skill positions players will be lined up to the left and right of Tom Brady and the offensive line. In an ideal world, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman will still be healthy, Rob Gronkowski‘s back will be cured and rookies Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Zach Sudfeld will have acclimated to the complex offense perfectly. Unfortunately, every single one of those players presents a question mark. For the offense to play at the same level as last season, all of those question marks and injury concerns have to work out in the Patriots’ favor. Otherwise, the offense will take a step back. There’s likely no one player who will be able to take over for Aaron Hernandez, and his absence in the offense will affect the passing game and rushing game. On this week’s Gunslingers Podcast, NESN.com NFL writers Doug Kyed and Luke Hughes take at look at what the Patriots can do without Hernandez. They debate whether the Patriots can still have a Top 10 offense and what the realistic expectations are for the defense. Listen in below or download the podcast on iTunes for all the latest on the Patriots and the NFL. Photo via Facebook/New England Patriots from B/R

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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