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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Chung adapts to secondary role

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One of the more compelling individual storylines for the 2012 Patriots is the status of safety Patrick Chung.

A starter until he was sidelined by injury Oct. 14 in Seattle, Chung returned for the first time on Thanksgiving and was used as a reserve (22 of 72 snaps) in a resounding win over the Jets.

With Devin McCourty seemingly locked in at one safety spot after transitioning from cornerback, that leaves Chung in a competition with seven-year veteran Steve Gregory (61 of 72 snaps versus Jets) for the other starting safety role.  Chung's contract is set to expire after the season, and a backup role could affect future earnings.

"Wherever Coach wants me, that's where I'm going to play at," Chung said, when asked if he's OK with the situation.

As for his return on Thanksgiving, Chung said: "It felt good, man, to get back out there and just dig my cleats into the grass a little bit. It's all good, man. We have five more games and hopefully a lot more."

And when it comes to his health (he's listed on the injury report with shoulder and hamstring ailments), Chung said simply, "I'm getting better."