The Pittsburgh Steelers first regular season game of 2019 will take place two weeks from last night against the New England Patriots and it now looks like their opponent will be missing their starting center for that contest.
According to Jeff Howe of The Atlantic on Monday, Patriots center David Andrews has been hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs, and his season is in jeopardy as a result. That of course means that Andrews is almost certain to miss the Patriots Week 1 home game against the Steelers.
Andrews has started 57 regular-season games and nine playoff games during his career for the Patriots so his loss is certainly a big one for New England. With Andrews expected to be sidelined for the foreseeable future, Ted Karras, the Patriots top backup interior offensive lineman, is expected to take over as the team’s starting center.
Due to NFL suspensions, the Patriots will also be without the services of tight ends Ben Watson and Lance Kendricks for their regular season opener against the Steelers. Kendricks, however, wasn’t a lock to make the Patriots 53-man roster even though they’re currently short quality tight ends. They also recently lost one of their top special teams players, linebacker Brandon King, to a season-ending knee injury.
The Patriots also recently had one of their starting defensive plays show up in the sports headlines as safety Patrick Chung was indicted for a cocaine possession charge last week. That pending charge aside, Chung still might be eligible to play against the Steelers in Week 1.
The Steelers are still 6-point road underdogs as of Monday evening according to most online sportsbooks. The Steelers last won a game against the Patriots in New England in 2008.