David Andrews Won't Opt Out Despite Blood Clot Scare Last Year
It was just about this time last year that David Andrews was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs.
Doctors discovered the two-time Super Bowl champion center for the New England Patriots had a pulmonary embolism in August of 2019, and he was ruled out for the season not soon after. Andrews’ return to football even after recovery was anticipated to be difficult.
Now, with a global pandemic throwing the NFL and the rest of the world into a tailspin, Andrews said he will take the field again this fall instead of opting out like several of his teammates have done.
“It’s something, obviously, we all have to think about and make our own choices,” Andrews said. “My choice has been made and it’s just something I feel comfortable with, to have the opportunity to go out and play.”
COVID-19 is an infectious disease that causes mild to moderate respiratory illness, according to the Center for Disease Control. In addition to heart damage experienced by Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, some of the other possible long-term effects of the coronavirus is poor exercise tolerance and difficulty breathing, the World Health Organization warned Thursday.
Regardless, Andrews said the input he received from doctors and his family was enough to convince him to suit up again during a virtual press conference with the media Sunday.
“Talking with doctors and my wife, it’s something we feel comfortable with,” Andrews said. “I’m just excited to get the chance to go out there and compete again.”
Eight Patriots have opted out of the season due to coronavirus concerns, including two offensive lineman – right tackle Marcus Cannon and guard Najee Toran.
While he admitted these absences are under very different circumstances, Andrews said players go down with injuries every year. He said some of the unproven and undrafted players on the roster should take starters opting out as an opportunity to establish themselves early this season.
“A lot of young guys now and younger players have big opportunities,” Andrews said. “You just gotta take them and run with it.”
The deadline to opt out of the season is currently this upcoming Saturday, but according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL is attempting to move that date up to either Tuesday or Wednesday. Andrews’ teammate and fellow 2019 team captain Devin McCourty was not too pleased with the league’s decision to do so.
“I think it’s an absolute joke that the NFL is changing the opt-out period,” McCourty said on Sunday during his brief media session. “I think it’s terrible, I think it’s BS that the league has changed that date.”
The deadline won’t affect Andrews and McCourty, but both said they stand with their teammates who elect to opt out regardless.