DanteScarnecchia was asked Monday whether everything was OK with DavidAndrews after the tough-as-nails center had missed two practices this week.
"We'll find out," he said.
Scarnecchia might as well have blown an air horn to the assembled media. Something was definitely going on. This was not some tight back or strained groin.
We have our answer. According to league and team sources, Andrews has been hospitalized to treat a blood clot in his lungs (UPDATE: Andrews has been released). He very well could miss the entire season as the treatments associated with this usually need to run their course for 3-6 months.
This is likely tied to Andrews' absence from the early portion of training camp. It was thought that Andrews couldn't kick an illness (pneumonia), but it's very possible the two were related in hindsight.
"It's good to get back out here," Andrews said on Aug. 1. "I had something I was dealing with. [I'm] a little bit behind. Kind of those first two days are really you kind of start knocking the rust off and those are kind of my days right now. I've got a lot of work to do to catch up."
Andrews was visibly struggling with the weather in Nashville — he was dealing with vomiting at one point — and often having to take a knee while looking exhausted.
It's a blow, certainly. Andrews has been a captain the last two seasons and a starter the previous four seasons. A center is valuable for his mind as much as anything else, as he works in concert with the quarterback as far as protections and checks at the line.
That being said, this is something the Patriots can definitely overcome and it should have little effect on their long-term outlook. Here are four reasons why: