Patriots’ Chris Long Eschews Playoff Beard For Mustache In Postseason Debut

FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long isn’t taking the traditional approach to his first playoff appearance.

After eight years with the St. Louis Rams, Long is finally set to make his playoff debut with the Patriots after a first-round bye. And he’s made the controversial decision to go with a mustache over a playoff beard.

“I mean like, look, listen, I get it, there’s a playoff beard thing, but I decided I wanted to have a mustache this week,” Long said. “It might be there next week, it might not. I’m the captain of my destiny. I get to decide what kind of facial hair. People on the internet were like, ‘Dude, where’s your…?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, really? Is that like a prerequisite? Sorry.’ I do playoff mustache. Not a big deal.”

Long played all 16 games for the Patriots this season, starting seven and recording 35 tackles with four sacks, three passes defended and a forced fumble. He was asked if talking to the media in January is a strange experience.

“It’s not weird,” Long said. “We’ve been working towards having these opportunities. I’m just very thankful to be playing football right now.”

Long’s teammate, wide receiver Chris Hogan, also is set to make his playoff debut. He doesn’t know what to expect in the postseason.

“To be honest with you, a lot of people have asked me that, and I don’t really know,” Hogan said Wednesday. “I’ve never experienced it before. This is all new to me. Just talking to some of the guys, the playoffs is, you talk about preseason going into regular season and the speed kind of picks up. I’ve heard that from a number of guys that playoff speed picks up a little bit more. The level of play is one and done. You’re playing for just the next game. Everybody’s playing that much harder, so I’m excited to play in this game and start preparing this week and next week.”

Veteran Patriots defenders Shea McClellin, Barkevious Mingo and Kyle Van Noy also are set to make their playoff debuts with the Patriots.

Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images