Patriots offensive tackle Tony Garcia says he’s been cleared to play after missing his rookie season due to blood clots in his lungs.
In an Instagram post, the 24-year-old wrote, “Just got cleared to play again!!! God is good.”
The Patriots selected Garcia in the third round of the 2017 draft, 85th overall, out of Troy University. He practiced with the team during that summer, but missed the entire campaign due to his medical condition. The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe reported that Garcia was placed on blood thinners and lost 40 pounds during the ordeal.
Tony Garcia announced via Instagram he’s been cleared to play. He missed his rookie season due to blood clots in his lungs. pic.twitter.com/gc7NYVUrHA
— Boston.com Patriots News (@BDCPatriots) March 20, 2018
The 6-foot-7, 300 pound lineman will help fill a position on Dante Scarnecchia’s depth chart that had been depleted by free agency. Nate Solder signed a four-year contract reportedly worth $62 million with the Giants, while free agents Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle are scheduled to meet with the Cowboys. The Patriots signed former Eagles offensive tackle Matt Tobin on Friday.
Garcia did not allow a single sack over 900 offensive snaps during his senior season at Troy. After the Patriots selected him with their second pick in the draft, his offensive line coach at the school said he stood apart from the other players that he’d sent to the league.
“I have six guys that are either in the NFL or recently played,” Matt Moore said. “When people ask what’s the difference with Tony, I’d say he plays harder than any of those guys. Every rep, he’s trying to get better. He doesn’t take reps off. Goes hard, chases the ball. He’s grown so much, understanding how the world works. He’s fun to watch play.”