The New England Patriot defense put together its best game of the season so far last Sunday night, but they've taken a big blow this week. 

According to Jeff Howe of The Boston Herald, Hightower, who left Sunday's win over the Atlanta Falcons with a shoulder injury, will not play this week and might miss more time than that.

The Alabama product is a leader of the team's defense and has a knack for making big plays. His ability to play multiple roles from the linebacker position helps take the pressure off of the defense and put his teammates into positions where they can better succeed.

With Hightower out for a potentially extended time, expect the Pats to lean heavy on Kyle Van Noy with Elandon Roberts and veteran David Harris getting more opportunities to see the field.







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