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When the NFL picks a game to kick off the regular season, the league is most likely looking for a matchup which will drive ratings, have plenty of star power and with any luck, injury-free rosters heading into Week 1. There was a luster to the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots game scheduled for Thursday, but most of the luster has worn off as the game will be without several stars, and injuries could very well play a large role in the game.
The Steelers will be without Le'Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant and injured All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey in Week 1, and the only other player who is expected to miss the game is backup quarterback Landry Jones with a head injury.
The Patriots will have pieces of their puzzle missing as well. They will be without LeGarrette Blount, Brandon LaFell and center Bryan Stork, who will be held out of the game with a concussion.
The Patriots have ruled starting center Brian Stork out against #Steelers with a concussion. So both teams down a RB and center— Dale Lolley (@dlolleyor) September 9, 2015
With the news breaking of Stork being ruled out of the game, the playing field seems more even than just a few days ago. The game will likely come down to which stars remaining in the lineup will make the plays necessary to win. Will it be Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, or Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown? Only time will tell...