David Andrews Cleared for Patriots Return After 'Freak Accident' Blood Clots

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

New England Patriots center David Andrews watches his teammates warm up before an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

New England Patriots center David Andrews was cleared to play football again after missing the 2019 season because of blood clots in his lungs.

"I haven't been told that," Andrews said when asked if there are any restrictions now that he was medically cleared, per Chris Mason of MassLive. "Part of it was the medicine I was on and I'm off that medicine so I can go about living my normal life. ... I think it was just kind of a freak accident thing."

Andrews thanked his family, friends and the Patriots organization and said he was looking forward to getting back on the football field.

"I'm cleared to play football," Andrews said. "I want to move forward with that and talk about football. What happened happened. You can't live your life in fear if it's going to happen again or not. It's a violent game, and things happen. There's a lot of things that happen. That's just life."

In January, Andrews spoke to reporters and said he wasn't ready to finish his football career and was "optimistic" he would be able to return:

Mike Reiss @MikeReiss

Video: Center David Andrews on a powerful experience at Amos House in Providence, his health, his plans to play football again, a coaching role this year, and Tom Brady. https://t.co/Xr1dojlwCG

The center was a steady force along the offensive front for the Patriots from 2015 through 2018, playing in all but four regular-season games and helping lead them to two Super Bowl titles. Pro Football Focus gave Andrews an overall player grade better than 70.0 in 2016, 2017 and 2018, including the impressive 83.2 mark he earned in 2017.

In a credit to the overall infrastructure of the organization, the Patriots offensive line was still effective in 2019 even without its starting center.

According to Football Outsiders, New England was the ninth-best run-blocking unit and fifth-best pass-protection unit in the league last year.

Even with Andrews back, things will be much different for the offense now that Tom Brady is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His absence will put even more onus on the offensive line to protect Jarrett Stidham or whoever is under center if the Patriots are still going to challenge for a playoff spot.