The New England Patriots’ list of 2019 team captains includes a linebacker who was no given.
As Mike Reiss of ESPN first reported Thursday, Elandon Roberts has gotten the nod.
Roberts was originally selected by New England in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft. Pick No. 214 overall had served as a captain for the Houston Cougars as a senior after spending his junior and sophomore years as a reserve linebacker and special-teamer.
The former Morgan State transfer went on to lead the Division-I FBS with 88 solo tackles that fall, while ranking fourth in the country with 142 total tackles.
Now 25, Roberts has since appeared in 44 games across three regular seasons with the Patriots. He’s started 30 of them to accrue 177 tackles, three sacks, five passes defensed and one forced fumble.
But New England’s linebacker depth chart became a crowd over the offseason. One that Roberts – the owner of two Super Bowl rings in three trips – continued to outlast alongside Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Ja’Whaun Bentley.
The first-time Patriots captain is joined by quarterback Tom Brady, running back James White, center David Andrews, safety Devin McCourty, specialist Matthew Slater and the aforementioned Hightower this year, the team announced.
For Brady, the 42-year-old has served as a team captain since 2002. Both McCourty and Slater have since 2011. Andrews – placed on injured reserve Saturday due to the blood clot in his lungs – has been elected consecutively since 2017. And White was an incoming captain last season, with Hightower returning as one for the third time in the last four seasons.
Roberts isn’t the headliner in their company. Then again, he also is.