Dont'a Hightower Reportedly Placed on Season-Ending IR with Pectoral Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2017

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 22: Dont'a Hightower #54 of the New England Patriots looks on during the second quarter of a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The New England Patriots reportedly placed linebacker Dont'a Hightower on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday with a torn pectoral muscle.

Field Yates‏ of ESPN passed along the status update.

Hightower suffered the injury during the Pats' 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 7.

Ian Rapoport‏ of the NFL Network reported last month the 27-year-old defender was expected to miss the rest of the 2017 campaign with the ailment. Tuesday's roster move confirmed that outcome.

Meanwhile, Albert Breer of The MMQB told Toucher and Rich of 98.5 The Sports Hub (via NBC Sports Boston) the linebacker's pectoral was already 55 percent torn when he re-signed with the New England in March. The team attempted to manage his offseason reps with hope he could get through the season without a major setback.

"Obviously we're all disappointed for High," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters Oct. 27. "He's, you know, the leader, one of the leaders on our defense, one of our captains. He gives us a lot. It's unfortunate. It gives someone else opportunities, and we'll see how that goes."

Hightower finishes the 2017 season with 14 combined tackles and two sacks across five appearances. He remains under contract through the 2020 campaign.

David Harris and Trevor Reilly should both receive increased opportunities within the Patriots defense.

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