FOXBOROUGH — David Andrews, just two days removed from suffering a painful thigh injury, was moving well during the stretching and light jogging period of Patriots practice the media attended Tuesday morning.
The center and captain left Sunday’s win over the Jets in the first half with what at first appeared to be an ominous injury, as he had to be helped to the locker room by two members of the medical staff.
After undergoing tests on Monday, the eight-year veteran was deemed day-to-day by a league source and he returned to the practice, where he was listed as limited.
There’s no guarantee Andrews will be ready for Thursday’s prime-time game with the Vikings in Minneapolis, but his return to practice in such a short time was positive sign.
One of the toughest and most respected players in the organization, Andrews is the glue on the offensive line, helping with the protection calls, and is a demon on double teams and combination blocks.
“It just shows you how tough David is,” said quarterback Mac Jones, when asked about Andrews’s presence at practice. “He wants to be able to help the team however he can and I’m glad to have him out there. Great leader, great teammate, tough player. Smart, dependable, everything, all of the above. Definitely love that guy and hopefully we can make it work here.”
Andrews also is the Patriots’ nominee for the eighth annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
The Patriots signed offensive tackle Conor McDermott off the Jets’ practice squad and he participated in the walkthroughs.
McDermott provides insurance in the event Isaiah Wynn, who has started at right and left tackle this season, can’t play Thursday because of the foot injury he suffered against the Jets. Wynn was the only player on the 53-man roster not to practice Tuesday.
McDermott was New England’s sixth-round draft pick out of UCLA in 2017 but was released during final cutdowns.
He was claimed by the Bills and spent two seasons in Buffalo. The 6-foot-8-inch, 310-pounder has floated between the Jets’ practice squad and active roster for the last three-plus seasons. He’s played in 43 games with six starts and logged one snap against the Patriots last Sunday.
McDermott’s older brother, Kevin, was once the Vikings’ long snapper.
Patriots Hall of Famers Rodney Harrison and Vince Wilfork were among 28 semifinalists for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. This is the second time both players have been semifinalists.
Several other players who spent at least some time in New England, including Darrelle Revis, Fred Taylor, and James Harrison, also were on the list, which will be cut to 15 in January. The class will be announced during the NFL Honors program during Super Bowl week.
Bill Belichick has supported both Wilfork, who he grouped with Richard Seymour as “the two best defensive linemen I have coached,” and Harrison for gold jacket honors.
“I think Rodney Harrison, 100 percent [should be] in that conversation,” Belichick said last year. “I’ve coached some of the other safeties that have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and not taking anything away from them, but certainly Rodney belongs in that conversation, and he belongs in the conversation with the other players that are already there.”
Knowing their limits
In addition to Andrews, the Patriots listed linebackers Anfernee Jennings (back) and Josh Uche (hamstring), cornerback/returner Marcus Jones (ankle), and receiver DeVante Parker (knee) as limited … Practice squad linebackers Jamie Collins and Calvin Munson, and receiver Tre Nixon donned black jerseys as practice players of the week … Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson is second in the NFL with 1,093 receiving yards and fourth with 72 catches. “He’s a good player. He does a lot of things well,” said Belichick. “Obviously, the deep ball, tracks it, very good at getting open, separation, he’s good with the ball in his hands, hard guy to tackle, makes a lot of plays. After the catch, [he] makes a lot of yards after the catch and obviously he has a great quarterback [in Kirk Cousins].” … Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook’s 799 rushing yards rank sixth in the league. “They have a lot of firepower,” said Belichick … Thursday’s game kicks off a stretch of four consecutive prime-time games for the first time in Patriots franchise history. Only the Cowboys (2016) and Steelers (2017) have done it … This will be New England’s sixth Thanksgiving game. They are 3-2 on Turkey Day … Alex Kemp’s crew will officiate Thursday’s game.
Jim McBride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.