It forced Philadelphia's first-round pick, who was taken with the 16th selection, to watch the Eagles roll to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1981 without him.
But Andrews' agent, former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Rich Moran, said the two-time All-American is doing everything possible to get back on the field and help Philadelphia return to the Super Bowl next season.
Moran, who is attending the 2005 NFL Combine in the Indianapolis Convention Center with new client and former Ole Miss offensive lineman Marcus Johnson, said Andrews is scheduled to return to the field during April's mini-camp. Moran said Andrews' ankle healed ahead of schedule, his weight stayed under control and his attitude about missing the entire season remained, for the most part, upbeat.
"What really amazed me was how the kid just kept positive spirits the whole time," Moran said. "A couple times on a Sunday, I called and he was down because a game was going on. But other than that, he was like, 'Well, it could've been worse. I could've not been able to play anymore.'
"You didn't see him get into a deep depression like a lot of guys do when they've never been hurt before. He stayed positive and rehabbed real hard."
Instead of relaxing, Andrews is in the middle of a month-long session at a training facility, Athletes Performance, in Arizona, where he'll remain until March 13. It's the same facility Andrews trimmed more than 50 pounds off his 401-pound frame before the 2004 NFL Combine last February.
Andrews' weight, which was always an issue at Arkansas, hasn't been as big a concern this time. At the most, Moran said Andrews gained 15 pounds during his absence and believes his client will report to camp between 355 and 360 pounds.
"He's really excited about playing right now and he looked good," Moran said. "For awhile, he couldn't do any aerobics. But (his weight is) nowhere near where he was before. He will probably be 355, 360 when he comes in. But it's not a big issue.
"He wants to be a good football player so he's taking care of business."
Jones On Deck
Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones arrived in Indianapolis and began his four-day combine stay Thursday.
Jones, who is the Hogs' most intriguing draft prospect this winter, is hoping to work out at both quarterback and wide receiver for the many NFL owners, general managers, coaches and scouts this week.
First, Jones will be sized up, weighed in, examined by doctors and interviewed by NFL teams his first two days. Jones, who is hoping to show off his speed in the 40-yard dash, is scheduled to perform position specific drills and agility tests Sunday.
Slab Of Beef
Tennessee offensive lineman Michael Munoz, the son of former Cincinnati Bengals great Anthony Munoz, shed some light on the combine Thursday. Munoz, who was measured at 6-foot-5, 306 pounds, said the picture of the combine as an elaborate NFL meat market was an accurate description.
"When you get your height and weight, shirt off in front of 300 coaches and people, you can't help but feel like that," Munoz said. "But it's definitely an experience. It's a little humbling."
Munoz trained with his father in Cincinnati in preparation for the combine and listened closely to his father's advice about the week in Indianapolis.
"The biggest advice he gave me was just to enjoy it," Munoz said. "You have to have confidence in your abilities. A lot of things are going on, poking and prodding, physicals and things like that, but just enjoy it and have confidence."
"It's a blessing. I get a second chance to make a first impression."
-- Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, who also attended the 2004 combine. Clarett, who challenged the NFL's draft rules in court and eventually lost, angered league personnel when he didn't work out at last February's combine.
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