Updated 10:35 AM EST, Thu, Jan 20, 2022

New England Patriots Linebacker Dont’a Hightower Suffers Rib Injury in Game Against the Dallas Cowboys

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The New England Patriots lost linebacker Dont'a Hightower to a rib injury during Sunday's game versus the Dallas Cowboys.

247 Sports said Hightower sustained the injury in the middle of the first quarter of their 30-6 win against the Cowboys, even prompting coach Bill Belichick to personally check on his condition. However, it is noted that the linebacker was still able to walk on his own after the injury.

According to Boston Globe, Hightower joined forces with Jamie Collins to topple Dallas running back Joseph Randle and was thereafter noticed to be experiencing pain.

After walking into the bench, the same report noted that the linebacker was still able to get up and cheer for his teammates.

"He left the sideline shortly after and headed to the locker room. He did not return and wasn't spotted in the locker room postgame," added Boston Globe.

When he left the field, Collins was able to make 10 tackles while other players like Jerod Mayo and Jonathan Freeny also contributed t the team's victory.

"Linebackers were in on a lot of the plays up front. Good game. Good team defense," Belichik added in the Boston Globe report.

Meanwhile, CBS Boston said that Hightower's return was initially deemed "questionable" but the team later downgraded his status to out.

Aside from Hightower, tackle Nate Solder also injured his right elbow during the second quarter of the game.

ESPN said that the severity of his injury is still hard to determine. "It's too hard to tell. We're just going to roll forward and see what happens," Solder said.

He added that he just followed the call of the team to keep him out of the game.

"We're going to go forward and see what happens," he added.

It was also noted in the CBS Boston report that the two injured players were also struggling with their performance prior to their injuries.

"Hightower was making a positive impact on defense, recording four tackles and sacking Brandon Weeden on a third down to force a punt. Solder, on the other hand, was struggling to contain defensive end Greg Hardy, leading to Tom Brady taking a heavy hit from the menacing pass rusher," explained the same report.

Bleacher Report discussed that losing Hightower's versatility will make the Patriots' defense weak and the team's performance less impressive since the linebacker has proven effective with his performance in previous games.

It also suggested that Belichick would have to find better alternatives for his injured players especially with another game coming next Sunday versus the Indianapolis Colts.

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