David Andrews was not initially aware of how serious his medical condition was.
On the first day of Patriots training camp in July, he recalled feeling pain in his chest and having difficulty breathing. He even began coughing up blood, but thought he could just deal with it.
“All of this was partly my fault, just being dumb and pushing through it,” the Patriots center said to Rusty Mansell of 247Sports. “I thought I was sick and I really did not feel like myself. It was not like I was having a bad camp. I just was not having a consistent camp.”
Yet, after playing in the Patriots’ preseason game against the Panthers, Andrews could not remember a few plays from the game. He saw a specialist the next morning who told him the news: he had blood clots in his lungs, and in late August, he was hospitalized.
“I had no idea what that meant. I told the doctor I needed to get back home to let my dogs out, and from that point on, I knew it was serious. They would not let me leave and I spent five nights there. My first call was to my dog walker, actually. Then I had to call my wife and try to explain all of this.
“I really had no idea how dangerous it was.”
Despite missing the entire season, Andrews kept his head up and focused on his health. He also remained connected to his team in any way he could, from watching film with them to leading weekly meetings.
“The Patriots were so good to me,” said Andrews. “It was really a frustrating year because athletes want to compete. I was limited on what I could do but I really focused on rebuilding my body and trying to turn a negative into a positive. I got to be a part of the team, got to watch film with the guys. I got to lead a pass-rushing meeting each week. I was still a captain and got to attend those meetings. I got to spend more time with my wife. It has been a different year. I am ready to get back”