After Newton’s second rushing touchdown of the day, he handed the ball to center David Andrews so Andrews could spike it in the end zone. Andrews missed all of last season with blood clots in his lungs, which led Newton to say his teammate “was kind of in my boat” because of their long layoffs.

Andrews called Newton’s gesture “awesome” and reflected on how far he’s come since this point last year after the game was over.

It was a good day overall for Andrews and his fellow offensive linemen as the Patriots rolled up 217 rushing yards on their way to the season-opening win.

“I think about this time last year when I didn’t know if I would ever be able to step back on a football field and then I think about what happened this spring and what we’re still dealing with, and I really didn’t know when the next time I would step back on would be so I am extremely grateful to get to play this game,” Andrews said in a postgame video conference. “God has been good to this kid from Georgia and this game has been really good to me, so I am just extremely thankful.”

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