In a story first reported by Albert Breer of NFL Network, a source tells him that New England Patriots Linebacker Dont’a Hightower is believed to have suffered an MCL sprain but like Gronkowski, has avoided any significant injury. It is unknown at this time what will be the timetable for his return to the field but Breer believes it will be a limited one to two week absence.
When Hightower plays snaps, the Patriots defense allows 3.58 yds/carry. In plays he misses due to injury, 5.95 yds/carry according to Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. Going into the Denver Broncos matchup on Sunday, The Patriots had the second best run defense in the league but allowed 179 rushing yards to the Broncos.
Hannable shared this eye opening statistic on the impact Hightower had on the run defense.
“Against the Broncos with Hightower on the field, the Patriots allowed 46 yards on 16 carries (2.88 yards per carry), but once he left the game, the Patriots allowed 133 yards on 16 carries (8.31 yards per carry).”
Hightower missed time earlier this season with a rib injury against the Indianapolis Colts and the defense allowed 120 rush yards to a team ranked 29th overall in rushing yards.
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