Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14
New-england-patriots-san
FOXBORO, Mass.  — The Patriots secondary has looked much improved over the past few weeks. And while the play of Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty is receiving plenty of attention, Patrick Chung’s star isn’t shining quite as bright as it once did. Chung, who missed four games with a shoulder injury earlier in the season, returned to the field against the Jets on Thursday night and had an immediate impact, even in a more limited role than he’s used to. Either way, he was really glad to get back out onto the football field. “It felt good, man, to get back out there and just dig my cleats into the grass a little bit,” Chung said. “It’s all good, man. We have five more games and hopefully a lot more.” The Patriots’ starting safety over the past two seasons may have enjoyed the rush of being back on the field with his teammates. But returning to a reserve role, playing just 22 of the 72 total defensive snaps and being used more as a coverage defender in sub packages, couldn’t have been too pleasant. Chung’s apparent demotion couldn’t have been anticipated when he went down with the injury in the second half against Seattle. But with Steve Gregory making some big plays and McCourty’s smooth transition over to the position, there seems to be no room for Chung at safety anymore. And Chung was happy to see both guys making plays in the blowout win on Thanksgiving. “It was good to see your teammates have a good game,” Chung added. “And you just gotta get those every game.” While the reduced role may sting, at least for now, that doesn’t mean he’s disgruntled or that he’s going to question Bill Belichick‘s decision making. “Wherever Coach wants me, that’s where I’m going to play at,” Chung said very bluntly. If Thursday’s return was any indication of Chung’s ability coming off the injury, then the Patriots have to be encouraged. He may not be the starter at safety anymore — although that could change quickly — but he’ll still be an important piece in maintaining a high level of play in that secondary. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pacquiao to have surgery to repair 'significant' shoulder tear

Chris Paul ruled out for Game 1 against Rockets

Stephen Curry thanks father in touching MVP speech

Lawrence Taylor's son pleads guilty to statutory rape

49ers FB Bruce Miller charged with vandalism

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview

Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

Five overhyped NFL Draft storylines that didn't play out

WATCH: Chris Johnson wants to play for the Cowboys

WATCH: Chewbacca throws out 1st pitch at Red Sox game

WATCH: Kyrie Irving carves up Bulls' defense for layup

WATCH: Metallica goes Jimi Hendrix for national anthem

Brandon McCarthy shares disturbing info about himself

Ole Miss fan got pregnant because of upset over Alabama

Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes middle name to 'Trill'

Marcus Mariota welcomed to Tennessee with billboard

Five takeaways from the first round of the NBA playoffs

NFL has a Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents who could become NFL stars

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

NFL has Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents to watch

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.