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.
Hightower (pectoral) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Hightower underwent season-ending pectoral surgery nearly two weeks ago and now officially has been placed on injured reserve. Without both Hightower and fellow linebacker Shea McClellin (concussion), the Patriots will have to rely on their depth at the position for the remainder of the season, starting with David Harris and Marquis Flowers.
Hightower underwent season-ending surgery Thursday to repair a torn pectoral muscle, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Reports surfaced earlier Thursday that Hightower would be shut down for the season with the pectoral injury, but the Patriots waited until the linebacker received a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews before offering confirmation. With Andrew concluding that Hightower would require surgery, the Patriots wasted no time in having the 27-year-old undergo the procedure. Hightower is expected to make a full recovery in advance of the 2018 season, but the Patriots may have to lean more heavily on the likes of reserve linebackers David Harris and Marquis Flowers for the remainder of the current campaign.
Hightower (pectoral) is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews for an evaluation Thursday, after which the Patriots will have a better idea regarding the extent of his injury, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
It's believed that Hightower is dealing with a torn pectoral muscle, but he'll visit Andrews for a second opinion with the hope of hearing better news. If Andrews confirms the initial diagnosis, Hightower would likely require season-ending surgery to address the injury, creating a significant void on the second level for the Patriots. David Harris would likely be first in line to move into the starting lineup in Hightower's stead, but Shea McClellin (undisclosed) could enter the mix as well once he's activated from injured reserve. McClellin is said to be progressing well from his unspecified injury and is eligible to be activated as soon as Nov. 12 against the Broncos.
Hightower has been diagnosed with a torn pectoral muscle and will miss the remainder of the season, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Hightower had already been ruled out this Sunday, but Thursday morning's news serves as a devastating blow to a defense that had already been struggling this year. Over five games this season, Hightower had collected 14 combined tackles and two sacks. This is his sixth season with New England, and will mark his first year in which he fails to amass 60 total tackles. In Hightower's stead, look for Marquis Flowers to fill in at linebacker unless the Patriots look outside the organization for a replacement. When Hightower missed two games earlier this year, Flowers saw an uptick in snaps and made three combined tackles.
|2012||New England Patriots||14||60||43.0||17||4||0||0||0.0||0||0||3|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||97||55.0||42||1||0||0||0.0||0||0||3|
|2014||New England Patriots||12||89||51.0||38||6||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||61||51.0||10||3.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|2016||New England Patriots||13||65||31.0||34||2.5||0||0||0.0||0||0||2|
|2017||New England Patriots||5||14||12.0||2||2||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2012||New England Patriots||14||0||0||0||0||2||6||2||1|
|2013||New England Patriots||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||New England Patriots||12||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2015||New England Patriots||12||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|2016||New England Patriots||13||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||New England Patriots||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|