FOXBORO -- When Dewey McDonald was waived by the Colts last week, he figured he was destined to clear waivers and land on the Indianapolis practice squad. Instead, he was claimed by the Patriots.
Just like that, within 24 hours, he had joined a team the Colts considered a rival.
"It's definitely a strange feeling," McDonald said inside the Patriots locker room on Tuesday as he prepared for his first practice in New England. "It's like black and white . . . Just gotta let that go and focus on my task and what's assigned to me so I can play fast on Sundays."
McDonald, a safety who has played primarily as a special teamer, was brought to the Patriots one day before their Thursday night game with the Dolphins last week. He was inactive for that contest, but he remains on the 53-man roster and could play Sunday when Washington visits Foxboro.
On Tuesday, McDonald said that given the whirlwind he'd endured over the previous few days, it still felt as though he was swimming upstream to get acclimated.
"Yeah, it happened pretty fast," McDonald said, recalling when he first heard from the Patriots. "Really didn’t have much time to think about it. I got the call around 4:30, my flight left at 6 o’clock and I went straight out here. I would have missed the flight, but the plane was actually delayed because of the weather. That’s the only way I made the flight."
McDonald played all core four special teams units for the Colts -- punt, punt return, kickoff and kick return -- and he said he plans to be prepared to play all four under Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge as well. He was credited with one special teams tackle in a game against the Saints two weeks ago, but he was also flagged four times in the game.
An undrafted rookie out of California University in Pennsylvania, McDonald was active for 13 Colts games last season, including all three of the team's playoff games. He recorded 10 special teams tackles total.
Over the last few days, as he's gotten used to his surroundings, McDonald has leaned on fellow safeties and special teamers Tavon Wilson and Patrick Chung. He also credited safeties coach Brian Flores and coaching assistant Steve Belichick with helping him adjust.
"I'm just trying to take everything in," McDonald said, "and absorb as much as possible."
McDonald explained that there were a few familiar faces for him when he entered the facilities at Gillette Stadium for the first time. He played AAU basketball against Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson growing up in West Virginia. And due to his time with the Colts, McDonald knew defensive end Chandler Jones, whose brother Arthur has played in Indy since last season.
Though it's been a relatively chaotic week for McDonald, he said he already has a pretty good grasp on how to handle himself around his new teammates.
"When you have a guy like Tom Brady in your locker room," McDonald said, "pretty much go in, keep your mouth closed, and do what you have to do to get the job done."