According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Dont’a Hightower is out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle suffered against the Falcons Sunday night. Hightower has battled shoulder and knee injuries his whole career. 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.
Hightower is a huge loss not only because of his skill, but also because he’s the unit’s best communicator.
This means David Harris will now assume a bigger role in the middle of the defense with Elandon Roberts. Cassius Marsh will see more time at defensive end as well as Shea McClellin once he comes off injured reserve. He’s eligible to return Nov. 12 in Denver.
The trade deadline is next Tuesday and the Patriots could now be in the market for another linebacker.