When the New England Patriots take the field agains the Miami Dolphins in nine days, David Andrews will make his return after missing the entire 2019 season following the discovery of blood clots in his lungs. The recently reelected team captain did not just spend the weeks and months after the diagnosis rehabbing, though, but also remained an active member of the team as well as a representative of the organization within the community.
His work off the field has now earned him the Patriots’ Ron Burton Community Service Award: during the team’s annual season premiere at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Andrews was presented with the award honoring his charitable engagement.
“David embodies everything the Patriots organization is about: determination, dedication and a team-first attitude, on and off the field,” team owner Robert Kraft said about the 28-year-old. “He attacks his commitment to the community with the same passion and energy that has helped this former rookie free agent grow into a four-time team captain.”
While being sidelined for the 2019 season, Andrews was actively involved away from football. Whether that meant delivering Thanksgiving dinners to families in Boston, participating in the annual holiday party for children organized by the Patriots, or shopping gifts as part of the Gifts from the Gridiron event, the six-year veteran always was a safe bet to be among those available to lend a hand and support charitable causes.
“He is as dedicated to serving others, both his teammates and the community, as any player we have had,” added Kraft. “Leadership is best exemplified in times of adversity, and David’s commitment to helping others was on full display last year. Despite missing the season for health reasons, David still volunteered his time to serve and support our community. We are so proud of David for all he’s accomplished, but most importantly, for who he is.”
“I did not expect this, so it’s a huge honor,” said Andrews after receiving the award. “I’m just so thankful to be in this place, be in this organization, for what this organization not only means on the field but off the field, and the people that I’ve come in contact with. It’s a special place, and we got a special group of guys.”
Andrews is now the 18th player to receive the award named after former Patriots running back and the team’s first ever draft pick, Ron Burton. He joins a group consisting of Kyle Van Noy (2019), Joe Cardona (2018), Jordan Richards (2017), Rob Gronkowski (2016), Nate Solder (2015), Devin McCourty (2014), Matthew Slater (2013), Zoltan Mesko (2012), Jerod Mayo (2011), Vince Wilfork (2010), Kevin Faulk (2009), Larry Izzo (2008), Ty Warren (2007), Jarvis Green (2006), Matt Light (2005), Troy Brown (2004) and Joe Andruzzi (2003).