Dont’a Hightower is a great player. I don’t think anyone, especially around here can debate that. He has been the ultimate pro since the day he’s gotten here. He is right in the center of the Patriots defense, handling almost all of their communication. He has made some massive plays along the way, The Marshawn Lynch tackle right before the Malcolm Butler interception in the Seahawks Super-Bowl. Then how can we forget the strip sack of Matt Ryan in last years big game, just to name a couple of pretty big ones.
Unfortunately he just has not been reliable. Is it just me or does it seem like almost every week this guy has a new injury? Like I said earlier, his talents can not be questioned. But for him to be the contributor we know he can be, he needs to stay on the field and he hasn’t shown the ability to do so. I am just so fed up with this guy, and I understand that he can’t control getting injured in such a violent game like football, playing one of the most violent positions. But he is just injury prone, plain and simple. And he just isn’t good enough like Rob Gronkowski, to the point where you will deal with the injury woes because when he is on the field, he is all-time. Dont’a has played his best football, those days are behind him.
This being said, I think the Patriots will be able to replace what he gives them. I think they are going to have to do it by committee, guys like David Harris and Kyle Van-Noy are really going to need to step up. The Patriots have always showed the ability to deal with injuries better than anyone, this shouldn’t be any different for them. This shouldn’t really effect them much in the regular season. Plugging in guys and scheming it up like the Patriots do so well should get them through to the playoffs. Once the playoffs roll around, only time will tell if the loss of Dont’a Hightower loss will be the final straw.
Written By: Danny Dipietrantonio (@donato05)