The Patriots offensive line got a boost Thursday night without needing to use a draft pick when center David Andrews posted on Instagram that he’s medically able to play football again.
Andrews missed the entire 2019 season because of blood clots in his lungs. He had said he was “optimistic” he’d be back but it was not out of the question the health issues could mean the end of his football career, so this is certainly very good news for the 27-year-old.
“I’m excited that I’ll have the opportunity to play the game I love again,” Andrews wrote in his post. “When and whatever the NFL season looks like I’m just thankful that I’ll be able to get back to competing with my teammates and coaches.”
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I know 2020 has affected everyone in ways we couldn’t have imagined prior. But with the draft over the next few days a lot of dreams are gonna be realized for a lot of players entering the league. During this time there has been a lot of time for reflection on the past, present and future. As to the future I’m excited that I’ll have the opportunity to play the game I love again. When and whatever the nfl season looks like I’m just thankful that I’ll be able to get back to competing with my teammates and coaches. Go pats
Andrews signed off with a “Go Pats,” and a very excited Jarrett Stidham chimed in with “LET’S GOOOOOOO!!!!” in the comments.
Andrews has started 57 games since joining the Patriotsas an undrafted free agent in 2015. His return is especially important since New England lost Ted Karras, an admirable fill-in for Andrews in 2019, to the Dolphins in free agency.
Though Andrews, a team captain, wasn’t playing last year, he continued to attend meetings and mentor younger players throughout last season, something that greatly impressed Bill Belichick, who called Andrews “outstanding with the off-the-field leadership” last October.
With Andrews medically cleared, left guard Joe Thuney still in the fold on the franchise tag (barring a trade), and Isaiah Wynn, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon, the offensive line may shape up as the rare area where the Patriots have some stability going into next season, though they did lose longtime position coach Dante Scarnecchia to retirement.
Thursday night was a big night for Nantucket Wifi, since Belichick was drafting from the island.
Belichick, who is on Nantucket with his girlfriend Linda Holliday (and their dog Nike) monitored the first round from his home there.
A few images of Belichick’s setup were shared between the Patriots’ Instagram account and the draft broadcast. It looked modest, with a few laptops, a notebook and phones at a large wooden table.
Of course, the Patriots didn’t end up making a pick since they traded their No. 23 selection to the Chargers for two picks. Trades, though, were considered the trickiest part of this remote draft. New England also has director of player personnel Nick Caserio and several other executives manning phones and draft boards, but Belichick is, of course, involved, so score one for the little island that can sometimes have some connectivity issues.
Well played by Dolphins
Brian Flores and Chris Grier, both former Patriots employees, were familiarly savvy in tricking most NFL folks into thinking they wouldn’t actually draft quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5 overall before … actually drafting him there.
There was a growing sense the Dolphins wouldn’t take the former Alabama quarterback and would opt for Justin Herbert or a player at a different position with their top pick, but it turned out to be a very well-executed smoke screen.
Tom Brady’s acclimation to Tampa has had a few humorous mistakes so far. He was spotted working out in a local park that was supposed to be closed, and was asked to leave.
And he reportedly walked into a stranger’s home by mistake when looking to meet with Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
Tampa resident David Kramer told TMZ that Brady walked into his home after he mistook it for Leftwich’s residence. In a video interview, Kramer — Leftwich’s neighbor — explained how he went from working in his own home to suddenly being face-to-face with the 42-year-old quarterback.
“I literally was just sitting here and I watch this tall guy just walk in my house,” said Kramer. “He had a baseball hat on, I remember him being a good looking guy. I noticed him being very tall. The funny thing about it was he had luggage, or duffel bags on each shoulder, and he didn’t even look at me. He just like dropped his duffel bags down on the floor and just kind of like looked up at me and I’ll never forget the look on his face. He goes, ‘Hey, how’s it going, man?'”
Brady quickly realized his mistake.
“And then he looked at me with the most confused face, I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life, and he goes, ‘Am I in the wrong house?'”
Kramer said he was so shocked that he froze, but Brady apologized and left.
“He was like, ‘I am so sorry! I am so sorry!'” Kramer explained. “[He] grabbed his bags and just is gone. I don’t think I’ve seen someone leave a house faster.”
Later on social media, Brady made light of his mistake:
“Trespassing in parks, breaking and entering... Just making myself at home in Tompa Bay!”
Hayden Bird of the Boston.com staff contributed to this report.