After playing their most complete game of the season on Sunday, the New England Patriots are currently dealing with a multitude of injuries. Yesterday's practice report shows that – and includes some of the biggest names on the roster listed as either absent or limited. Among the former group is linebacker and defensive team captain Dont'a Hightower.
Hightower injured his shoulder against the Atlanta Falcons and the team will play it safe with him according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe. Howe reported yesterday that the team will hold the veteran linebacker out of Sunday's game against Los Angeles Chargers as it further evaluates the shoulder injury. However, as reported by NBC Boston's Mike Giardi, Hightower is dealing with another injury as well:
Multiple sources says Dont'a Hightower's injury isn't just to the shoulder but to pec muscle as well. Severity not revealed.
Without the clear extent of the injury known, we are wandering through speculation territory. However, seeing Hightower dealing with a second injury is certainly not good news, especially considering that a pec injury could – if severe enough – cost the 27-year old multiple weeks or even the rest of the season. Of course, we are not at that point just yet and the injury could very well turn out to be a minor issue.
Nevertheless, the Patriots need to be ready to play without Hightower at least on Sunday. And once fellow linebacker Shea McClellin returns off injured reserve, the team will have additional depth at the position at its disposal – whether or not Hightower will be around to also benefit from it remains to be seen.