Key Patriots starter could miss season because of blood clots in his lungs

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New England Patriots center David Andrews was treated Monday for blood clots in his lungs, a condition that jeopardizes his season.

Andrews, 27, was released from the hospital Monday night after undergoing tests to determine the cause of the clots, The Athletic and other outlets reported. If the recovery of other NFL linemen is any guide, Andrews, a team captain and stalwart on the line, could miss at least a significant amount of time with the Patriots’ regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers looming on Sept. 8.

A pulmonary embolism, according to the Mayo Clinic , occurs when a blood clot becomes lodged in an artery in the lung, blocking blood flow. Blood clots most often originate in the legs and travel up through the right side of the heart and into the lungs.

Los Angeles Chargers left tackle Russell Okung has missed all of training camp after suffering a pulmonary embolism in June. The embolism was found at an urgent care facility when he suffered what he tweeted were “unusual” chest pains. The decision to head to urgent care “likely saved my life,” he tweeted in a statement the following month and he described the condition as “very treatable.” Although he was spotted stretching and doing rehab work before the Chargers’ most recent preseason game, an update on his status for the season opener is not expected until the end of the week.

“While near-death type experiences are certainly a wake-up call,” Okung added in the statement, “I’m feeling great physically. It’s not an ankle or shoulder. As soon as doctors clear me, my plans include blocking #17′s [Philip Rivers] blind side all the way to [the Super Bowl in] Miami.”

Last month, Cincinnati Bengals left guard Clint Boling, an eight-year veteran of the team, retired because of a blood clot in his leg that was discovered after last season ended. It led to a pulmonary embolism and Boling, 30, believes football played a role.

“Through the course of learning about blood clots, one of the doctors told me it can start forming three months in advance before you start getting symptoms,” he told ESPN . “When you’re suffering some trauma and some hits like we had, ultimately I think it was related to football.”

In 2017, Patriots lineman Antonio Garcia missed all of his rookie season because of blood clots in his lungs. He presently is with the Indianapolis Colts but has been suspended the first four games of the season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy.

The starter in each of the Patriots’ past three Super Bowl appearances, Andrews played 28 snaps in the Patriots’ preseason game Thursday but has missed practice the past two days. The Patriots picked him up as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia in 2015 and he has started in 57 regular-season games and nine playoff games.

The Patriots’ top backups are Ted Karras and James Ferentz, both four-year veterans.

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