The New England Patriots started their offseason workouts without linebacker Anfernee Jennings. The talented player decided to stay home in Alabama and support his hometown following the Dadeville shooting.
Four innocent people lost their lives and 32 others were injured. Injuries go from superficial to criticial. Tragedy struck Alabama and a “sweet 16” birthday party turned into a nightmare. The investigation in Tallapoosa County didn’t lead to any arrests. Special agents didn’t recover any riffle ammunition at the scene of the shooting, but did recover shell casings. Several guests at the birthday party claimed that someone had carried a gun, but no one reported carrying any weapons. Two of the victims were students at Dadeville High School.
“It is an unreal tragedy,” Dadeville High principal Chris Hand said Monday, via AL.com. “I am so devastated right now. We have a really good school, and these were great students.”
The police is still processing all of the evidence and has yet to confirm the names of suspects. Dadeville is a small town and the shooting took place a block from the courthouse.
The Patriots linebacker will join the team for mandatory workouts
Jennings, 25, played college football at Alabama. He joined the Patriots in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He saw action in 16 games last season, delivering 27 tackles, 1 ½ sacks, four quarterback hits, two pass breakups, and one forced fumble. Patriots coaches appreciate his potential and Jennings has a chance to stay with the team even after the final year of his rookie contract.
NFL players often skip offseason workouts. Tom Brady used to skip spring OTAs because he knows the game. The same goes to experienced veterans who don’t need to spend extra time on the field, learning new plays. Jennings will miss this part of the offseason, too, but will have to join his team for the three-day minicamp in June. It’s a mandatory part of the offseason program and players have to be present.
We are sending our thoughts and players to the families of victims in Dadeville.