According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, after suffering a plethora of injuries, New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn pectoral. Hightower was originally ruled out for Sunday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers due to a right shoulder injury, but he will now be out for the season. The Patriots will be losing one of their key veteran linebackers to a defense already among the worst in the NFL in scoring differential.
Dont’a Hightower Out for Year with Torn Pectoral
Dont’a Hightower has been battling injuries for most of the season. Beginning with a sprained right knee, he missed weeks two and three. He would return to play in weeks four through seven, but in the Sunday Night battle against the Atlanta Falcons, Hightower hurt his shoulder while tackling Devonta Freeman in the third quarter.
The shoulder was important to note, as in 2014 Hightower already missed two games with a torn labrum to the same shoulder. However, he proved resilient and came back stronger than before.
In 2017, unfortunately, the injuries ended his season after further medical inspection revealed a torn pectoral muscle. He will finish the season with 14 tackles and two sacks on five games.
To bolster the roster depth, linebacker Trevor Reilly was promoted from the practice squad on Wednesday, and Kyle Van Noy will be the feature linebacker for the Patriots. Other names to note are Elandon Roberts, David Harris, and Marquis Flowers. However, Roberts will be battling an ankle injury of his own.
The Patriots will be missing their key linebacker, as the 2017 Patriots defense has been marked by giving up big plays, not generating pressure, and giving up the sixth most points in the NFL. They were able to bounce back by beating the Falcons 23-7 and shutting down Matt Ryan. Yet, the loss of Hightower will be another hurdle for the Patriots squad to jump over.