Andrews missed the first few days of practice in training camp this year because of an undisclosed injury, but he gradually increased his participation before playing 28 snaps at center in the Patriots’ preseason game against Carolina last Thursday.
The Patriots already are dealing with attrition along the offensive line. Second-year veteran Isaiah Wynn — also out of Georgia — is likely to replace Trent Brown, who left in free agency, at left tackle. Otherwise, an experienced unit composed of Joe Thuney, Andrews, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon was seen as a positive in the effort to protect 42-year-old quarterback Tom Brady.
The most likely candidates to replace Andrews for an extended period of time are a pair of fourth-year veterans, Ted Karras and James Ferentz. Karras has played in 45 games with five starts and Ferentz in 23 games with no starts.
“We got what we got,” Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said Monday. “The cavalry, they’re not coming over the hill. But we have good players. I like the guys we got.”
The Patriots close the preseason at home Thursday against the New York Giants.