The New England Patriots on Wednesday announced their captains for the 2021 season.
The list was devoid of surprises.
Patriots players voted center David Andrews, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Devin McCourty, special teamer Matthew Slater and running back James White as their five captains for the upcoming NFL campaign.
All five are longtime locker-room leaders.
This will be the 11th season of captaincy for McCourty and Slater, the fifth for Andrews and the fourth for Hightower and White. Hightower regains his captain status after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.
Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley were not voted captains after serving in that capacity last season. The Patriots had a total of eight captains in 2020, with quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Jason McCourty also earning spots in that group.
Newton’s replacement, Mac Jones, was the most notable omission from this year’s leadership, as any list of team captains typically includes the starting QB. But the Patriots never have had a rookie captain under head coach Bill Belichick. (Devin McCourty and Jerod Mayo both received that honor in their second season.)
The Patriots will open the regular season Sunday against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.