New England Patriots tight end Devin Asiasi is in the statistical minority, as one of the breakthrough COVID-19 cases despite getting vaccinated.
That’s why the second-year Patriot had to miss the start of training camp in New England. He tested positive for the novel coronavirus. While the Patriots dealt a COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, it’s new for them to be managing a vaccinated player who is recovering from the virus.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Asiasi’s unique case on Monday during a pre-practice press conference on the fields behind Gillette Stadium.
“We’ve had a few players in that category,” Belichick said. “They’re all as you said a little bit different, and this is not an injury, but an ‘injury’ that we’re not really familiar with and as you said, everyone’s a little bit different, so we’ll just treat him that way. He’s out here participating.
“We’ll monitor his progress and just kind of take it not even day by day, I would say monitor it as he goes through practice how he’s doing until we’re sure he’s ready to go out and be a full participant, but I would say we’re not quite there yet. I don’t know how that’s going to go. As I said, we’ve dealt with that with a few other players and some have reacclimated quicker than others, but again, we just have to stay on top of it and monitor and communicate with them on how they’re doing, how the physical exertion and output in practice affects him.”
Who keeps an eye on the players recovering from COVID during practice?
“It’s really the medical staff, but the position coaches would be aware of it at their position and again, just make sure that the players are in a safe working situation,” Belichick said. “Obviously if he noticed something, he would call the trainer over, but the trainers kind of monitor it too.”
Asiasi reflected upon how surprised he was to find he had tested positive.
“It was crazy,” he said after practice Monday. “Just like everybody else, I knew that you weren’t immune to the disease even if you got the vaccination. So for me, I just dealt with it. It is what it is. The best thing I can do moving forward is making sure I’m hydrated, making sure I’m taking care of myself and making sure my family and all my loved ones do the same.”
Asiasi has spent two practices as a limited participant. It’s unclear whether he’ll play in the team’s preseason matchup against the Washington Football Team on Thursday night. He was asked if he’s at 100%.
“I don’t think any of us feel 100% all the time,” Asiasi said, “so for me it’s just about getting back into the groove of everything; getting back into my routine with the guys, being guys all day, getting into meetings and getting on the field, getting my reps in and just getting familiar again.”
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