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The play was a scary moment in Cunningham’s preseason debut, with Francis grabbing the rookie receiver/quarterback’s facemask and pulling it clean off. You can see the play in question here.
Cunningham, who played at receiver earlier in the game, had come in as a quarterback in the fourth quarter. The undrafted rookie had taken off running when the facemask occurred. Francis, a second-year defensive back out of Memphis,
“Yeah, I think Malik’s a tough kid,” Bill Belichick said. “He showed that at Louisville, and as a receiver, he’s different than at quarterback. But, he’s had to block, go in and make tough catches in traffic and things like that. No, I think his toughness and competitiveness is good. You saw that in college and we’ve seen it in the time that he’s been here.”