Hightower (knee) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Saints.

This isn't overly surprising -- considering Hightower did not practice this week after sustaining the injury against the Chiefs in the opener -- but it remains a tough absence for the Patriots to absorb. The injury wasn't believed to have been severe, but the oft-injured linebacker will give way to Kyle Van Noy and Marquis Flowers, at least for Week 2.

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