Optimism for Patriots S Devin McCourty (concussion) to be ready for playoffs

Devin McCourty reacts after making a tackle against the Miami Dolphins in the first half at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

There is "optimism" that Patriots safety Devin McCourty will be ready for the start of the playoffs after suffering a concussion against the New York Jets, according to The Athletic's Jeff Howe on Twitter.

McCourty suffered a head injury during the third quarter of the Patriots' 38-3 win over the Jets on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. He left for evaluation and did not return.

Despite the optimism that McCourty will return for the AFC Divisional Playoff on Sunday, Jan. 13, he did not practice for the Patriots on Wednesday in Foxborough.

McCourty has started 57 straight games (including playoffs) at safety for the Patriots since Week 16 of the 2015 season. He's started all 158 games that he's played in his career. So his absence from the defense would certainly be a massive one.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].