BOSTON — The Patriots’ first-year offensive line coach missed a scheduled session with reporters Tuesday and will be away from work for some time due to health issues.
Head coach Bill Belichick acknowledged Wednesday that Clem’s absence the previous day was due to a health issue, adding that Clem is “going to be out for a while.”
“Do you want him on the injury report?” Belichick responded when initially asked what was keeping Clem off the team. “So you’re trying to get me to violate HIPAA laws or something like that. No, I’m not going to comment on anyone’s personal health status. I appreciate the question, but that’s not what I’m trying to do.” I don’t think that’s the right thing to do, and I don’t know if it’s allowed. So I’ll skip that. ”
Clem, 46, was hired in the offseason to replace Matt Patricia, who was the de facto offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Clem was Belichick’s first New England draft pick, taking him with the 46th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. This will be Clem’s second stint in the NFL after spending three seasons with the Steelers from 2019-2021. He has also coached at the collegiate level at SMU, UCLA, and the University of Oregon.
The Patriots head to Germany this week to face the Colts, but Belichick suggested Wednesday that they will be outclassed by the coaching staff upon arrival. Billy Yates, in his third year as assistant offensive line coach, will take on additional responsibilities in Clem’s absence.
“Yeah, we’re going to solve this problem on the offensive line,” Belichick said. “Yeah, of course Billy’s in on it too.”