McDonald living NFL dream

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Sometimes it's not all that bad when things don't go according to plan.

About a month ago, Patriots center Nick McDonald arranged for friends and family to attend Sunday's game against the Colts. At the time, McDonald anticipated sitting in the stands with them.

Instead, McDonald went from spectator to participant, making his NFL debut and first career start in the 31-24 win.

"The view [from] downstairs is awesome," McDonald said. "It's great."

With Dan Connolly inactive for a second straight week, and Ryan Wendell hampered by a calf injury, McDonald was activated from the practice squad on Saturday, receiving word from coach Dante Scarnecchia that he would be starting.

"It's every kid's dream to start in the NFL," McDonald said. "I got to do that."

On his fourth snapper of the season, quarterback Tom Brady didn't miss a beat with McDonald under center.

"I thought we had a good week of practice," Brady said. "He stepped in there, his first game as a Patriot, and did a real good job."