New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 28, 2021: Devin Asiasi #86 of the New England Patriots walks onto the field during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 28, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

When Patriots training camp first started, second-year tight end Devin Asiasi was nowhere to be found. Not because of a football-related injury, but instead due to a positive COVID-19 test, despite being fully vaccinated.

Asiasi missed the first nine practices because of the setback, but returned on Sunday. The tight end spoke to reporters after practice on Monday.

“It was crazy,” Asiasi said. “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 only played in nine games of the 2020 season, recording two catches for 39 yards. Couple the poor start to his career with the Patriots signing Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry in the offseason, and Asiasi’s standing on the team was already up in the air. So, missing considerable time at the beginning of camp does not help the young tight end. Asiasi made the most of his absence, however.

“I had a couple of virtual meetings set up with our coaches,” Asiasi said. “Obviously, the schedule is demanding, but whenever they had free time I got on the phone, got in WebEx meetings with them, and got my due diligence of my work every single day.”

Asiasi not only talked with his coaches, but his teammates also reached out when they heard about his breakthrough case.

“They all reached out, a bunch of them reached out,” Asiasi said. “Just said their prayers and everything, so I’m really grateful for them.”

According to a CDC study released in July, less than 0.004 percent of fully vaccinated people in the United States later tested positive. Asiasi was one of the unlucky ones, but is back on the field with his team.

The Patriots begin their preseason slate with the Washington Football Team on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.