The 27-year-old recently told 24/7 Sports he tried to fight through the blood clots that left him hospitalized last August.
"I had been dealing with some chest pains and troubling breathing, started coughing blood the first day we reported to training camp actually," Andrews said. "All of this was partly my fault, just being dumb and pushing through it. I thought I was sick and I really did not feel like myself. It was not like I was having a bad camp. I just was not having a consistent camp."
After participating in the Patriots' third preseason game, which he said there were a few plays he doesn't remember, the gravity of the situation hit Andrews after a meeting with doctors.
"Specialist comes out and says I have blood clots, I had no idea what that meant," Andrews said. "I told the doctor I needed to get back home to let my dogs out, and from that point on, I knew it was serious. They would not let me leave and I spent five nights there. My first call was to my dog walker, actually. Then I had to call my wife and try to explain all of this. She was out of town. I actually called my former UGA teammate Clint Boling next. He was actually dealing with these this offseason, so I called him immediately because I knew he had dealt with that. He was great and introduced me to a doctor as well. Clint was just great to me. I really had no idea how dangerous it was."
Andrews sat out the entire season but continued to attend some captains meetings.
"The Patriots were so good to me. It was really a frustrating year because athletes want to compete," he said. "I was limited on what I could do but I really focused on rebuilding my body and trying to turn a negative into a positive. I got to be a part of the team, got to watch film with the guys. I got to lead a pass rushing-meeting each week. I was still a captain and got to attend those meetings. I got to spend more time with my wife. It has been a different year. I am ready to get back."
In a year of big changes in New England, Andrews is on a path to return in 2020. With his replacement Ted Karras signing in Miami, the Pats hope Andrews can return to form and solidify an offensive line that was up-and-down last season.