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2020 NFL playoffs Patriots vs Titans: Patrick Chung questionable to return due to ankle injury

New England’s starting strong safety got hurt on the first defensive drive of the game.

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

The New England Patriots defense started its wild card playoff game against the Tennessee Titans slowly: the unit was unable to stop running back Derrick Henry and gave up a touchdown on a third-and-10 pass to tight end Anthony Firkser. To make matters worse, the Patriots also lost one of their starting players in the secondary along the way as Patrick Chung was slow to get up and eventually limped off the field one play before the score.

Chung went straight to the medical tent on the sidelines, before exiting for the locker room. Shortly afterwards, the Patriots announced that the veteran was questionable to return to the game because of an ankle injury. With the 32-year-old unavailable for the time being, New England turned to Terrence Brooks — returning after missing last week’s regular season finale — to replace him in the lineup but he quickly gave up the touchdown.

Chung’s departure, even if it might turn out to be only temporary, is another blow to a secondary that already is without one of its core players: veteran defensive back Jason McCourty has been declared inactive before the game because of a groin injury.