Hightower (pectoral) appears on track to be available for the 2018 season opener, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports.

Hightower has seemed to avoid any setbacks in his recovery thus far, which makes him a realistic candidate to be available for the start of the 2018 season. The 27-year-old underwent season-ending pectoral surgery in late October. The Patriots could express additional caution bringing him back, however, given the linebacker's injury history.

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