Patriots center David Andrews spoke this week for the first time in detail about the blood clots that kept him out for the entire 2019 season.
The veteran said he had been having trouble breathing; initially, he tried “pushing” through the issues. That was his first mistake.
“I had been dealing with some chest pains and troubling breathing, started coughing blood the first day we reported to training camp actually,” Andrews told 247sports.com. “All of this was partly my fault, just being dumb and pushing through it. I thought I was sick and I really did not feel like myself. It was not like I was having a bad camp. I just was not having a consistent camp. ...
“Specialist comes out and says I have blood clots, I had no idea what that meant. I told the doctor I needed to get back home to let my dogs out, and from that point on, I knew it was serious. They would not let me leave and I spent five nights there. My first call was to my dog walker, actually. ... I really had no idea how dangerous it was.”
The usually reliable Andrews – who was second on the team in total snaps played in 2018 – was quickly placed on injured reserve. He was thankful he still had the chance to be around the team.
“The Patriots were so good to me," he said. "It was really a frustrating year because athletes want to compete. I was limited on what I could do but I really focused on rebuilding my body and trying to turn a negative into a positive. I got to be a part of the team, got to watch film with the guys. I got to lead a pass rushing meeting each week. I was still a captain and got to attend those meetings. I got to spend more time with my wife. It has been a different year. I am ready to get back.”
Andrews, who had partnered with Tom Brady since the 2015 season, will have to get used to a new starter in 2020, but was thankful for the lessons he learned from the veteran quarterback.
“The Kobe Bryants, the Michael Jordans, the Tom Bradys, the mental aspect they have and not only just mental aspect, Tom is always a step ahead of people during the game. He is a student of the game,” he said.
”He has that killer mentality, a lot of guys have bits of it, but the great ones have just another level of it. With that and his leadership ability, he demands that you get the best out of them. There were times walking in the huddle, you could see it in his face, it was go time. It makes you want to give it your all, because of that confidence and very few have it to that degree. You watch Tiger (Woods) on Sunday at Augusta it is almost like they go to a different place in their minds and Tom is like that.”
Christopher Price can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.