New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower continued the long road to recovery as he hit the field with MOST of his teammates during this week’s OTA’s. Still not quite at 100 percent since missing all but five games in 2017. He didn’t take a single snap after week seven after suffering a torn pectoral muscle.
“I mean, I’m still working,” Hightower said to reporters when questioned about his health status. “You know, I’m not going to say I’m 100 percent, but I feel good, no problems. So, I’m going to stay with Jimbo [Jim Whalen] and Flo [Brian Flores] and just stay on what I’m doing right now and hopefully just keep moving forward.”
Hightower, of course, was one of several Patriots to miss significant time last season due to injuries. Perhaps no position group was hit harder than the linebacking group with Hightower leading the pack. Nonetheless, the team managed to reach the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season and third time in the last four seasons. Unfortunately, they were a few defensive stops short of winning their third championship in that span.
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“Absolutely, man,” Hightower said when asked if it was tough watching his teammates struggle in the Super Bowl. “You know, to say me playing in the game, that would have changed a big output of the game, that’s definitely not what I’m saying. Philly is a damn good team and they went out and they proved that. But, man, it did, but there’s not much I can do about that now. Again, all I can do is just concentrating on doing what I can do and just trying to stay healthy.”
It’s hard not to wonder whether or not Hightower’s presence would have been enough for the Patriots against the Eagles. For what it’s worth, many believe one or two defensive stops at some point during the game was all that was needed. Fortunately, the players don’t dwell on questions like those. That is a job for fans and the media. The players, including Hightower, are squarely focussed on the present.