By: T.J. Flaherty
The New England Patriots suffered another major setback this morning after news broke that linebacker Dont'a Hightower will miss the remainder of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
This is the worst-case scenario for the Patriots following his injury Sunday night and will undoubtedly leave an impact on the already injury-plagued defense.
His versatility and unparalleled leadership made him a valuable asset to the team, and his absence raises many questions regarding how the Patriots will be able to fill the gap.
But is it time to press the panic button? Of course not.
Perhaps the one silver-lining that comes with this injury is the fact that it happened just before the trade deadline, giving the Patriots the opportunity to find someone to replace the former first-round pick out of Alabama.
We will likely be seeing veteran David Harris filling the role in the meantime, though he has played very minimal time thus far in the season, recording only 4 tackles.
Even if the Patriots do not make a trade at the deadline, the resilience of the and coaching staff, as well as their ability to develop players into the system should allow fans to remain optimistic.
This Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers could be indicative of what to expect for the remainder of the season as with the absence of Hightower.