Patriots' bad defense gets the worst news about Dont'a Hightower

Patriots' bad defense gets the worst news about Dont'a Hightower

Patriots' bad defense gets the worst news about Dont'a Hightower

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - A person familiar with the situation says the New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower will miss Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers and is facing season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Hightower reportedly tore a pectoral muscle, according to reports from NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.

That was Hightower's best season from a tackles standpoint, as he racked up 97 combined tackles along with one sack and three passes defensed.

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Hightower's fourth-quarter strip sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was one of the key plays in Super Bowl LI, helping the Patriots complete their rally from a 25-point deficit to win the Lombardi Trophy.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola was back on the practice field today after missing yesterday's workout due to a knee injury. According to Pro Football Focus, Hightower played 237 total snaps as an edge defender this season, about the same amount as Cassius Marsh and Deatrich Wise. Yet, the loss of Hightower will be another hurdle for the Patriots squad to jump over. Other names to note are Elandon Roberts, David Harris, and Marquis Flowers. He hasn't played a full season since 2013 and that was a major reason why he didn't get paid as much as he wanted as a free agent this past offseason. I mean, he's a huge part of what we do. He played in 29 games with one start over the last two seasons in Tennessee but was released at the final roster cutdown on September 2, 2017. A bunch of guys have to step up and kind of try to fill that role - and in this case, a bunch of different roles.

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