The injury bug has bitten the New England Patriots' hard this year, so naturally when starting free safety Devin McCourty left yesterday's game against the Houston Texans with an ankle issue, it immediately became a situation worth monitoring.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, we now know the degree of McCourty's injury:
#Patriots S Devin McCourty suffered a sprained ankle, source said. X-Rays were negative. It's nothing that'll cause him to miss the playoffs
McCourty is one of the best safeties in the league and the undisputed leader of the Patriots' defensive backfield. Therefore, seeing his injury as non-season threatening is good news and a confirmation of the initial positive reports.
It would not be a surprise to see McCourty sit at least next week's game against the Tennessee Titans out. In his possible absence, Duron Harmon will have to play the Patriots' deep safety role – a role he has played before (just ask Joe Flacco). While McCourty cannot be replaced one-to-one, New England has the personnel to soften the blow of potentially playing the next game(s) without their star safety.