David Andrews

Patriots To Activate C David Andrews

After Shaq Mason‘s recent return to practice from the Patriots’ reserve/COVID-19 list, the team will have another starter back Sunday. David Andrews will come off IR ahead of the Pats’ Week 7 game, Jeff Howe of The Athletic tweets.

Andrews has missed 19 of the past 21 Patriots games, being shelved for the 2019 season because of blood clots and missing the past three New England contests because of a thumb injury. He and Mason’s returns will be key for a Pats team coming off a home upset loss to the Broncos.

Prior to Andrews’ run of bad luck, he had started all but four of New England’s games since the start of the 2015 season. The Pats’ offense has looked considerably worse in Andrews’ absence the past three weeks, though other factors have contributed to that.

New England will be without right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor — placed on IR this week — but is set to have four of its five Week 1 starters back Sunday against the 49ers. The non-Week 1 starter set to play Sunday — sixth-round rookie Michael Onwenu — has been a pleasant surprise. Onwenu has played right tackle and both guard spots this season, doing so because of the Patriots’ litany of injuries up front. He will likely see time at right tackle against San Francisco.

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Patriots Move C David Andrews To IR

David Andrews‘ return from a full-season absence will be on hold for the time being. The Patriots placed their starting center on IR Saturday.

The veteran snapper did not practice this week due to a thumb injury. New England is promoting center James Ferentz from its practice squad. The Pats also placed rookie linebacker Josh Uche on IR. The second-round pick is battling a foot injury.

A blood clot issue resulted in Andrews missing all of the 2019 season. But he was cleared to resume his career this offseason, and the sixth-year blocker reclaimed his spot as the Patriots’ starting center. He will be out until at least Week 6, however.

So will Uche, who has yet to make his NFL debut. The Pats made the Michigan alum a healthy scratch in Week 1, and he landed on their injury report soon after and missed the team’s Week 2 game.

Ferentz has been with the Patriots for more than three years now. The son of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz — a Bill Belichick assistant with the Browns in the 1990s — James Ferentz signed with the Patriots in 2017. He played 15 games last season, starting two. The Pats let 2019 Andrews replacement Ted Karras defect to the Dolphins in free agency.

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David Andrews Cleared To Resume Career

The Patriots are on track to have their starting center back. David Andrews, who missed all of last season due to blood clots being found in his lungs, said (via the Associated Press’ Kyle Hightower) he has been cleared to resume football activities.

Andrews is no longer on any workout restrictions, he confirmed Tuesday. After being shut down for the season last August, Andrews spent the remainder of 2019 on medication for the scary issue. The longtime Pats starter said he has stopped taking that medication as part of his progression back to full health.

New England allowed Andrews’ 2019 replacement, Ted Karras, to leave in free agency. He landed with the Dolphins. Andrews is under contract through the 2020 season and set to earn $3MM in base salary this season.

Prior to missing all of last season, the former UDFA had played in 60 Patriots games since coming into the league in 2015. He started 57. He went on to start in three Super Bowls. The Pats are moving forward without acclaimed offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who retired again this offseason, so having Andrews back will stand to help their group.

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Patriots’ David Andrews Plans To Continue Playing

David Andrews missed the entire 2019 season with blood clots in his lungs, but he intends to return to the field in 2020, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. 

I feel great,” Andrews said. “I have a bunch of doctors’ appointments in February, [hopefully] get all that cleared up, and be good to go for next year.”

Andrews still has one year to go on the three-year, $9MM extension he inked with the Pats in 2017, so he should be back in New England, provided that he’s healthy enough to play. It remains to be seen who he’s be snapping the ball to, however. Tom Brady, Andrews’ longtime partner, is intent on exploring free agency for the first time in his career.

Before the blood clots, Andrews served as New England’s primary center since 2015. He went from UDFA to the Pats man in the middle for four AFC championship games and three Super Bowls.

Andrews allowed only four quarterback pressures in 2018, the fewest among Patriots linemen. In that year, he graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 center.

Without Andrews, the Patriots turned to Ted Karras as their starting center in 2019.

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Patriots Place C David Andrews On IR

A blood clot issue forced David Andrews to be hospitalized this week. Although he was released from the hospital shortly after, he will still have a long road back to football.

The Patriots placed Andrews on IR Saturday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This is not an IR-return move. The fifth-year center will miss the 2019 season.

Andrews has been New England’s primary center since 2015, going from UDFA to Tom Brady‘s snapper in four AFC championship games and three Super Bowls. The Pats extended him in 2017. Two seasons remain on that contract. Andrews allowed only four quarterback pressures last season, fewest among Patriots linemen. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 center in 2018.

They will now move into the season with fourth-year man Ted Karras at the pivot. However, New England traded for several linemen this week. Karras, a 2016 Pats draft choice, played 174 snaps last season. This could be an evolving situation for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Patriots Notes: Andrews, Thomas, Harris, Roberts

We learned earlier this evening that Patriots center David Andrews was hospitalized due to blood clots in his lungs. Fortunately, there’s some good news on that front, as Jim McBride of the Boston Globe tweets that the lineman has been released from the hospital.

Andrews is expected to miss a significant amount of time, with the initial report indicating that the lineman’s season is in jeopardy. This would be a significant loss to the Patriots’ line, as the 27-year-old has been the team’s primary center since 2015.

Some more notes out of New England…

  • Wideout Demaryius Thomas told reporters (including ESPN’s Mike Reiss) that the Patriots were the only team to express interest in him this past offseason. After tearing his Achilles following a trade to the Texans, the 31-year-old ended up inking a one-year deal with New England this offseason. He finished last season with 59 receptions for 677 yards and five touchdowns.
  • The Patriots waived both DE Keionta Davis and WR Maurice Harris this past weekend, and veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets that the duo were cut with the injury designation. The two ended up clearing waivers are have now been placed on the injured reserve. Harris initially seemed like a lock to make the Patriots roster, but the team’s sudden receiver depth left him without a spot.
  • Rookie running back Damien Harris was injured during the Patriots preseason win on Thursday, and the team is apparently eyeing some reinforcement at the position. NESN.com’s Doug Kyed tweets that the team worked out former Washington State running back James Williams today. The undrafted free agent has already had stints with the Chiefs and Colts.
  • Reiss points to linebacker Elandon Roberts as a potential trade chip, noting that the fourth-year player has only played 14 defensive snaps this preseason. While the 25-year-old normally doesn’t cover kickoffs, the team may show him off for potential suitors during the team’s preseason finale. Reiss wonders if the Lions and former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia could be a fit.

Patriots C David Andrews Hospitalized

Patriots center David Andrews was hospitalized due to blood clots in his lungs, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports (subscription required). He is expected to miss a significant amount of time, with Howe adding the fifth-year blocker’s season is in jeopardy.

It is unclear at this point how much time Andrews will miss, but due to the nature of the hospitalization, the 27-year-old center may not play football again for a while. Andrews has been New England’s primary center since 2015, going from UDFA to Tom Brady‘s snapper in four AFC championship games and three Super Bowls.

The Patriots struck quickly to re-sign Andrews, inking a new deal with their snapper in early 2017. He is attached to a team-friendly pact, worth $9MM over three years. Two seasons remain on that contract. Andrews allowed only four quarterback pressures last season, fewest among Patriots linemen. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 7 center in 2018.

In Andrews’ absence, the Patriots are expected to turn to Ted Karras, Howe adds. The 2016 sixth-round pick has been with the Patriots throughout his career and has played in 45 games (five starts). The Pats return three other O-line starters — guards Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason and right tackle Marcus Cannon — but are breaking in left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who only recently resumed practicing after a torn Achilles erased his rookie season.

While the team has consistently deploys top-flight offensive lines, due in no small part to highly regarded position coach Dante Scarnecchia, this will obviously be a setback for the defending Super Bowl champions.

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AFC Notes: Dolphins, Grimes, Gordon, Hali, Ford, Stanley, Pats Injuries

The Dolphins season has taken a dive in recent weeks. After starting the year 4-2, the team has lost control of the final AFC Wild Card spot, losing their past three games by a combined 67 points, thanks to blowout defeats at the hands of the Ravens and Panthers. However, while their reliance on Jay Cutler and midseason trade of Jay Ajayi have’t helped, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald opines that the secondary has been one of the major reasons why the Dolphins are not in position to be playoff contenders, particularly in regards to loss of Brent Grimes when the franchise opted to cut him before the 2016 season.

Beasley explains that the front office decided to move on from the veteran cornerback because his age, salary, 2015 performance and even his wife’s antics, but in hindsight the team misses Grimes’ steady contributions. The 34 year-old corner will face his former team for the first time since they let him walk this Sunday. Since his release, the Dolphins have failed to rectify the position with the likes of Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett, Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley. While Howard and Tankersley are still young, both aren’t guys you can lean on during a playoff run. In comparison, Grimes has played more like a middle of the pack corner this season , grading out as the 60th best corner in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, in Beasley’s opinion the way the team has handled their defensive back situation has been a dud all around over the past few years.

  • Josh Gordon is back at the Browns practice facility and he has made a positive impression on head coach Hue Jackson, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Ulrich passes along that the second-year Cleveland head coach has stated that the wideout has been “involved” and is a “pleasure to be around”. The Browns reporter also states that Jackson expects the talented reciever to be back on the practice field on November 20. Still just 26 years old, Gordon last played for the team in 2014, and has since been suspended from the league for multiple drug violations. The former high supplemental draft pick will be a restricted free agent in 2018, so he needs to make the most of every opportunity to impress the coaching staff if he wants a real chance to continue his playing career.
  • The Chiefs will be without two key pass rushers when they travel to New Jersey to take on the Giants this Sunday. Both Dee Ford and Tamba Hali have been ruled out for the contest, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com (Twitter link). This is particularly interesting development in the case of Hali because the team took the cautious approach to resting him by putting him on the PUP before the start of the regular season. However, he remains on the sideline despite being placed back on the active roster. Kansas City will lean on Frank Zombo with these pass rush specialists unavailable. Getting to the quarterback has been an issue for the team, as the Chiefs currently rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of sacks, racking up just a combined 19.0 through ten weeks.
  • The Ravens have already lost their best offensive lineman for the year in Marshal Yanda and have another troubling injury situation unfolding regarding left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Even after a bye, the second-year lineman is doubtful to play with a concussion, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Obviously, all concussions should be taken seriously, but his absence should be a concern considering that Baltimore has really had to shakeup their protection for Joe Flacco with the injuries to Yanda and second-year guard Alex Lewis. James Hurst would likely get the start in place of Stanley, which is a significant downgrade for a team that is looking to gain momentum in securing the final AFC wild card spot over the last seven weeks of the regular season.
  • The Patriots will be without two starting offensive lineman of their own when they travel to Mexico City to take on the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. Both center David Andrews (illness) and right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) have been ruled out, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Backup lineman Ted Karras got some snaps at center during last week’s blowout of the Broncos and the team has reserve tackles in Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle who could fill in at right tackle. Bill Belichick and co. will also be without Chris Hogan and special teams ace Matt Slater, so the team has to overcome more than just new surroundings to get out of Mexico with their eighth win of the year.

 

Extra Points: Pats, Packers, Vikes, Panthers

NFL owners passed a resolution today that will no longer allow clubs to block prospective general manager candidates from interviewing elsewhere simply because the new role doesn’t come with final 53-man roster authority, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Earlier today, the league’s owners also voted to eliminate the 75-man roster cutdown and allow teams to bring two players — instead of only one — off the injured reserve list during the season. One rule change that wasn’t voted on: granting clubs a roster exemption for players who’ve suffered a concussion, per Ben Volin of Boston Globe (Twitter link), who adds that proposal could be reintroduced next year.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Packers are working out former Texas Southern wide receiver Derrick Griffin today, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26. Griffin was a two-sport athlete during his collegiate days, but was dismissed from the football team and left the basketball in order to prepare for the NFL draft, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier this year. Griffin, who stands 6’6″, 240 pounds, auditioned for the Texans during their local prospect day and also landed a tryout at the Vikings’ rookie minicamp. Green Bay drafted two wideouts — Purdue’s DeAngelo Yancey and LSU’s Malachi Dupre — and also added two undrafted pass-catchers.
  • Offensive lineman David Andrews‘ three-year, $9MM extension with the Patriots contains $2.1MM ($700K annually) in playing time incentives) that can bring the maximum value of the deal to $11.1MM, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap. The pact also contains a $1.6MM signing bonus — the only fully guaranteed portion of the contract — plus per-game roster bonuses of $300K in 2017 and $400K in 2018-2020. Andrews’ extension places him within the top half of the league’s highest-paid centers.
  • The NFLPA is advising members of the Vikings‘ rookie class to not sign their contract until certain procedural language is cleared up, reports Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. While Minnesota maintains that it’s offering standard rookie deals with no changes from years prior, the players’ union is concerned with language dealing with offsets and anti-tampering. None of the 11-member Vikings class is under contract, but they’re each participating in offseason activities after signing protective waivers.
  • Now that former assistant general manager Brandon Beane has taken the reins in Buffalo, the Panthers have restructured their scouting staff, as the club announced Monday. Mark Koncz is Carolina’s new director player personnel, Jeff Morrow is the new director of college scouting, and Matt Allen has been named the team’s new director of pro personnel. Meanwhile, Don Gregory, who was reportedly on the Bills’ general manager candidate list, is now a senior executive scout who will work in both the pro and college arenas.

Patriots, David Andrews Agree To Extension

The Patriots and center David Andrews have agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2020 season, tweets Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Michael Giardi of CSNNE first reported (on Twitter) that an extension was on the way for Andrews, who had been slated to become a restricted free agent next offseason. The three-year extension will be worth up to $11MM with a base value of $9MM, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com, Giardi, and Reiss (Twitter link).

David Andrews

The 24-year-old Andrews is one of seemingly countless under-the-radar pickups that have worked out well for the Bill Belichick-led Patriots, who signed the ex-Georgia Bulldog as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Andrews ousted Bryan Stork to become the Patriots’ primary option at center as a rookie, starting 11 of 14 games, and then served as the Super Bowl champions’ No. 1 for all of last season. Appearing in each of the Patriots’ 16 regular-season games, Andrews earned solid marks from Pro Football Focus, which ranked his performance 22nd among 38 qualified centers.

Thanks in part to Andrews’ extension, 80 percent of New England’s starting offensive line is under contract for at least the next two seasons. The lone exception is left tackle Nate Solder, who’s scheduled to become a free agent next March.

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