It feels like DJ Khaled should be announcing the latest New England Patriots news. “Anotha one.” A sixth and perhaps final Patriots player has chosen to opt-out of the upcoming season.
Veteran safety Patrick Chung has followed the Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Dan Vitale, Najee Toran, and Branden Bolden as members of the team who have elected not to play in the 2020 season due to safety concerns related to COVID-19.
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Patrick Chung and His Girlfriend Are Expecting a Child
Chung is in a situation similar to Hightower. Chung and his girlfriend are expecting a child while Hightower and his fiancee have a two-week-old son at home. Both men have correctly prioritized the safety of their family over football in 2020.
Chung was expected to battle the newly signed Adrian Phillips for the starting strong safety spot, but with the former’s absence, it would appear the latter will be in a position to see the bulk of the playing time at that position.
Rookie Kyle Dugger, who the Patriots selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, also figures to have a lot more playing time now with Chung’s absence.
Chung is the Sixth Patriot to Opt-Out, But is He the Last?
The McCourty Twins, Devin and Jason, have been very vocal about their concerns about playing during the pandemic. There is speculation surrounding one or both of them opting out, but it hasn’t happened.
The belief from the Patriots’ organization is that Chung will be the final player to opt-out of the 2020 season. However, until training camp begins, there is no way to know this for sure. While it is understandable for every one of these men to have made this decision, there is no questioning the bind it puts the Patriots in as a football team.
Head coach Bill Belichick has lost four presumed starters and at least one other player who has played a significant role on a championship team, and this has happened even before practices that could render football-related injuries.
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