The New England Patriots’ trek down to a roster of 53 saw David Andrews sent to injured reserve.
But New England’s starting center, who continues to treat a blood clot in his lungs, was among seven team captains announced Thursday. It’s the third time that Andrews has been elected as one for New England since entering as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia in 2015.
And the quarterback handling his snaps addressed the situation on Westwood One prior to the 2019 NFL season’s opening kickoff Thursday between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
“As it relates to David Andrews and what he’s contributed to our team, unfortunately, he won’t be able to play this year,” Tom Brady told Jim Gray. “I think his personal health and well-being is what’s most important and what he needs to focus on. He’ll still play a role in helping us in any way that he can from a mentorship standpoint. He’s been a great captain for our team. He’ll continue in a great leadership role. But other players will have to physically step in and perform that center role up to the expectations that he has set.”
New England is slated to start Ted Karras at center Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. A 2016 sixth-round pick out of Illinois, Karras has split time between there and the guard spots on the way to logging five starts over 45 games of action in the regular season.
Additional experience was added at the pivot in former Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Russell Bodine, a 74-game starter whom New England acquired leading up to the roster deadline in exchange for a future sixth-rounder.
But Andrews remains on the sideline for the Patriots. He’s started a combined 66 games during his tenure when including the postseason. He’s started three Super Bowls.
It comes along with a presence.
“David was a spectacular player, is a spectacular player,” said the 42-year-old Brady. “And now that Ted is in there to start the season, we all expect him to do a great job for us.”
New England named a total of seven captains for 2019. Running back James White, linebackers Dont’a Hightower and Elandon Roberts, safety Devin McCourty and gunner Matthew Slater accompany Brady and Andrews.