Chung left the game during the first half Monday night. (FILE:USPresswire)
Throughout most of training camp the Patriots had avoided getting banged up heading into the regular season, but unfortunately now their first two exhibition games have cost them.
Last week against New Orleans they suffered the loss of linebacker Dane Fletcher to a knee injury, which ultimately ended up being an ACL tear and cost him this season. This week they watched another important piece of their defensive puzzle take a shot after safety Patrick Chung suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury during the first half of Monday night’s game.
The injury happened as Chung was attempting to make a tackle on runningback LeSean McCoy with just under 5-minutes left in the opening quarter. On the play Chung was coming up to make the tackle, but he was blocked low by Eagles receiver Chad Hall. The veteran safety was able to hold his ground and wrapped up McCoy as he came by, but Hall stood up and launched Chung into the air, which saw him land hard on his right shoulder.
From there he stood up favoring his shoulder and appeared dazed, with defensive back Sterling Moore coming over to his aid and signaling to trainers that his teammate needed help. He did leave the field under his own power.
It’s a tough break for Chung, who had looked great in practice and was off to a great start after making an interception last week. He was seen on the sideline with trainers working on him, but the team officially called him “questionable” to return but he didn’t see action again.
Coming off of a season where the safety position had been a weakness, the addition of Steve Gregory this offseason seems to be a great fit, and recently the talk had been about how well he and Chung seemed to work together. Both had a strong showing in their exhibition debut last week where they each finished with an interception against the Saints, providing a potential glimpse of what most fans had hoped could be quite a dynamic duo at that spot.
Now until we know more, things are suddenly back up in the air and we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out. Fortunately their opening game isn’t for a few weeks so depending on the severity of Chung’s injury there’s still reason to be optimistic.
Either way until we find out how bad it is, there’s now a big question looming in New England’s secondary.
UPDATE: According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport Chung’s shoulder injury isn’t believed to be serious, and it shouldn’t create any long-term setbacks for the Patriots safety.