Patriots reportedly get good news about injured linebacker Dont'a Hightower

The Patriots' defense got gouged on Thursday night, but they got some good news Friday morning. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, linebacker Dont'a Hightower's knee isn't seriously injured and he's not expected to miss much -- if any -- time.

Rapoport reported that Hightower suffered a minor MCL sprain and he could be ready to play in the Patriots' next game against the Saints on Sept. 17.

Lose battle, win the war. 

The Patriots' loss to the Chiefs on Thursday night was certainly ugly -- they gave up 42 points to an Alex Smith-led offense! -- but they're arguably sitting in a better place than the Chiefs on Friday when the Chiefs confirmed star safety Eric Berry lost his season to a ruptured Achilles tendon. Hightower isn't the same caliber of player as Berry, but he's one of the Patriots' most important defensive players. And considering the Patriots' defense looked putrid on Thursday night, I'd say it's sorta important that they didn't lose one of their only dependable defensive players in the process. 

Hightower, a hero of the Patriots' past two championships, turned down more money from the Jets and Steelers in the offseason to remain in New England, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. In his first five seasons with the Patriots, Hightower notched 17 sacks and 251 tackles. 

Hightower suffered the injury midway through the third quarter. The Patriots gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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