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Patriots RB James White’s father reportedly killed in car crash, mother in critical condition

Boston Herald logo Boston Herald 9/20/2020 Andrew Callahan
James White wearing a hat: FOXBORO MA. - AUGUST 26: James White of the New England Patriots speaks in the locker room at Gillette Stadium on August 26, 2019 in Foxboro, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) © Provided by Boston Herald FOXBORO MA. - AUGUST 26: James White of the New England Patriots speaks in the locker room at Gillette Stadium on August 26, 2019 in Foxboro, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

The father of Patriots running back James White was killed in a car crash Sunday that also left his mother in critical condition, according to a report from Fox Sports 640 South Florida.

White was informed of the tragedy shortly before the team’s Sunday night game at Seattle. He was ruled inactive.

White’s father, Tyrone Sr., was a captain with the Miami-Dade police department and his first football coach. White once described his father as “like Nick Saban” to ESPN, saying he was vocal, animated and keen on discipline, but deeply devoted and loving. Tyrone Sr. played college football at Florida A&M before joining law enforcement in 1984 and having two boys, James and Tyrone Jr., with his wife, Lisa.

Born in Fort Lauderdale, White left his native South Florida to play college football at Wisconsin from 2010-2013. After a decorated collegiate career, the Patriots selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.

In short time, White became one of the team’s most dependable players. He was named to the Pats’ 2010s All-Decade Team earlier this year. He is a 3-time Super Bowl champion.

In Super Bowl LI, White broke Super Bowl records for most receptions (14) and receiving yards by a running back (110). A year ago, he became a first-time father.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has repeatedly called White one of the hardest-working and most prepared players on the team. In 2018, Belichick said White asks questions like a coach, with a fixated focus on the details and routinely thinking far ahead of what problems might develop during a game. White once credited his diligence and discipline to his upbringing.

Without him, the Patriots rotated Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and J.J. Taylor at running back in Sunday’s game at Seattle. Prior to the game, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted at White to say he is praying for him.

Rookies ruled out

Third-round rookie tight end Dalton Keene was ruled inactive before kickoff Sunday in Seattle, pushing his NFL debut back at least a week.

Keene has slowly been recovering from a neck injury that kept him out of the Pats’ Week 1 win over Miami. He was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. Fellow tight ends Devin Asiasi and Ryan Izzo combined to make one catch in the opener, with Izzo getting the start.

Linebacker Josh Uche also missed Sunday’s game due to an ankle injury that cropped up during the week. Uche was a healthy scratch for the opener. His ability to apply pressure off the edge was expected to boost a Patriots front that lost its three best pass rushers from last season.

Quarterback Jarrett Stidham, offensive tackle Korey Cunningham and rookie cornerback Myles Bryant were also inactive. Bryant was promoted this week from the practice squad and helped simulate Wilson during practice.

Former Patriots wideout Phillip Dorsett, now with Seattle, also missed Sunday’s game because of a foot injury.

Belichick happy with O-line

The Patriots offensive line proved to be the team’s most dominant position group against Miami, earning the highest grade of any non-quarterback from Pro Football Focus.

That performance didn’t go unnoticed by Belichick, who praised his O-line during a pregame hit on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Belichick specifically mentioned the return of David Andrews, who hadn’t played a regular-season game in more than a year prior to the season opener. Andrews and Co. helped pave the way for more than 217 rushing yards in that win.

“Yeah, it’s certainly good to have David back out there, and our linemen have that time working together, so that’s definitely a plus,” Belichick said. “Mike Onwenu and Jermaine Eluemunor split some of those reps at right tackle, where Marcus Cannon has been, but they did a pretty good job, as well. So we’ll see how all that plays out going forward, but it’s definitely good to have David Andrews back on the field.”

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