Despite reportedly suffering a significant thigh injury in a win over the Jets last week, Patriots starting center and team captain David Andrews made the trip to Minneapolis.
On the way to their Thanksgiving night matchup against the Vikings, the Patriots ruled OT Isaiah Wynn (foot) out vs. Minnesota, meaning he did not make the trip. However, Andrews was among those who traveled with the team and is still in play for Thursday night.
The Patriots officially listed their starting center as questionable after he was a limited participant in Tuesday's lone formal practice of the week. Along with Andrews, the team also listed the following players as questionable: OT Yodny Cajuste (calf), DB Marcus Jones (ankle), and WR DeVante Parker (knee). Linebackers Anfernee Jennings (back) and Josh Uche (hamstring) were removed from the report and will play.
New England's offensive line, which has several key injuries and inconsistent play in spots, has struggled in the last handful of games. In two of those games, they played without their leader in the middle, as Andrews missed Weeks 8 and 9 due to a concussion.
After returning from a concussion following the bye week, Andrews suffered a thigh injury on a passing play in the first quarter against the Jets. Andrews did not return to the game and appeared to be in significant pain as he came off the field.
In his place, the Patriots turned to veteran backup James Ferentz at center. Trent Brown replaced Wynn at left tackle, rookie Cole Strange and Mike Onwenu remained at the two guard spots, while third-year OT Yodny Cajuste continues to start at right tackle.
Without Andrews for most of the game, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was sacked six times, and the Jets defense held the Pats to a 31% rushing success rate last Sunday. In the two full games without Andrews before the bye, Jones was under pressure on 38.5% of his drop-backs and was sacked ten times, meaning the Pats have allowed 16 sacks in their last three games.
With reports surfacing that Andrews will attempt to play through the injury, the Patriots offense, which will need to keep pace with an explosive Vikings attack this week, needs to be better.
If Andrews can play, the Pats projected starting offensive line without Wynn looks like this: LT Trent Brown, LG Cole Strange, C David Andrews, RG Mike Onwenu, RT Yodny Cajuste.
Besides the shuffling along the offensive line, the good news is that the Patriots will hopefully be at full strength elsewhere on the roster. The remaining questionable players practiced in a limited capacity all week and are on track to play against the Vikings on Thursday night.
New England can elevate practice squad players until 4 pm ET on Thursday afternoon, with practice-squad offensive lineman Bill Murray as a prime candidate.
The Patriots will visit the Vikings on Thanksgiving night in Minnesota with kickoff at 8:20 pm ET on Thursday.