New England Patriots center David Andrews underwent surgery on his right thumb this week, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. The surgery to Andrews’ snapping hand will sideline him for this week’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders and potentially beyond.
Andrews suffered the injury in Sunday night’s loss to Seattle. He appeared on the injury report Wednesday and Thursday after not participating in team drills as his right hand featured two different types of casts each day. According to a report, Andrews tried to snap the ball with his left hand at one point in individual drills.
C David Andrews has returned to Patriots practice. RB James White and practice squad TE Jake Burt are the only absences.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) September 24, 2020
Andrews has his right thumb heavily wrapped. pic.twitter.com/BJWEzCUj4O
Andrews is a candidate to land on injured reserve, where he would then be sidelined for at least the next three games. If New England decides to go that route, Andrews’ three-game absence would lead them to their Week 6 bye.
The Patriots have several different options available to them to replace Andrews. Rookie Michael Onwenu, who played guard in college, could move inside after being used as a tackle through two weeks. New England’s 2019 fourth round selection, Hjalte Froholdt, also could be in consideration.
“He’s been able to be out on the field every day and work hard and continue to get better since we’ve had the opportunity to begin practicing,” Bill Belichick said on Friday about Froholdt. “He’s still a young player that has a lot of room to grow and works very hard at it.”
Veteran James Ferentz, who is stashed on the Patriots’ practice squad, could also be elevated for this week’s game if needed.
Andrews’ absence will surely be noteworthy for New England. After missing all of last year with blood clots, Andrews’ return provides the offensive line with leadership and toughness.
“He’s the piece that holds it all together as the center,” starting left tackle Isaiah Wynn said this week. “With all his knowledge, he’s very reliable. When we don’t know something, he knows the answer to it. Just him being the key piece has been helpful and great.”