Chris Hogan Put Family First During ‘Difficult’ First Season With Patriots

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HOUSTON — By most measures, the 2016 NFL season was the best of Chris Hogan’s career. He was a starting wide receiver on a powerhouse New England Patriots team and the most productive deep threat quarterback Tom Brady has had in years.

But this season was not without its struggles for the 28-year-old wideout.

As he explained Thursday in an article on The Players’ Tribune, Hogan spent the majority of the Patriots’ off-days driving three-plus hours to New York, where his fiancée, Ashley, is completing her residency at Long Island Jewish Hospital. Ashley is due to give birth to twins in April, and Hogan wanted to spend as much time with her as their respective busy schedules allowed.

“I always tell her that family is No. 1, and football comes secondary to that,” Hogan said Thursday at the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI hotel. “And I think I made that clear to her. Every single chance I got, I drove home just to be with her, to make sure she was doing OK. She’s still working, being — she’s a doctor. She’s in her residency, she’s carrying twins, she’s performing surgeries — it’s amazing to me what she does.”

“I just wanted to make sure I was always there for her whenever I could this year, because it was a difficult year for us just being apart. Family means everything to me, and I’ll always put my family and my soon-to-be kids first.”

Ashley will not be making the trip to Houston this Sunday to watch Hogan and the Patriots battle the Atlanta Falcons — doctor’s orders. She was in Foxboro to witness New England win the AFC championship, though, and Hogan knows she’ll be watching the Super Bowl intently from home.

“The doctor gave us the no-go on that,” Hogan said. “But I was happy. I told her if we ever got to this point that I’d be more comfortable with her sitting on the couch.”

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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