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Monday, 30 October 2017 14:50

New England Patriots: Dont'a Hightower Injury Puts Belichick In Tight Spot

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The Patriots are a frightening team. They don’t know how to lose. Even when they seem like they are down, they find ways of surprising you and eking out wins. That has been the case for a very long time.

It is easy to get lost in the Patriots’ more recent runs of success and forget that they have been dominating the league for roughly twenty years. That might explain why the NFL betting odds for the Patriots are normally so impressive.


Everyone has grown accustomed to thinking of them as a winning team, and for good reason. The reason so many powerful teams tend to wax and wane over long stretches is because of the changes in their rosters.


It cannot be helped. No matter how good your roster looks, all your players are eventually going to either leave the game of football or move on to other teams. And you must learn to make do with a continuously changing cast of athletes.


The Patriots have lost popular and productive players each season and that hasn’t stopped them from dominating the game. No matter how many high profile names they lose, the Patriots success machine just keeps moving forward.


As such, NFL fans are a little uncertain as to how they should react to the Patriots’ recent fortunes. 2017 hasn’t exactly been a great year for the team, and some pundits have suggested that it might be high time to start worrying about their future.


Bill Belichick has nurtured some truly impressive defenses in the past, and the Patriots are trying and failing to reproduce that success in 2017, mostly because they keep having to replace talent.


The latest blow to befall Bill Belichick came in the form of Dont'a Hightower whose torn pectoral muscle will keep him on the sidelines for the season. The absence of one player might not seem like that big of a deal until you realize that Hightower is one of the best linebackers Belichick has ever had.


News of the injury was released on Thursday morning. Interestingly enough, there was more of a reaction to the news from the fans than was seen in the NFL and, as it turns out, that is because Hightower’s injury wasn’t a surprise.


The linebacker has apparently been struggling with the issue for a while now. It first manifested as a partially torn pectoral muscle in March, and it proved to be quite the problem for the many teams that wanted to sign Hightower.


The New York Jets said he failed his physical which is why they took the offer they had made for him off the table. One assumes that New England knew about Hightower’s issue when they gave him a 4-year $35 million deal.


If he assured them of his ability to perform, the Patriots had no reason to believe him because his injury record is a little spotty.


Belichick needs people like Hightower; they are the reason he is able to confuse his opponents by shifting defensive fronts on a whim. That level of versatility has allowed Belichick to steal some incredible victories.


It will take a creative solution to resolve Hightower’s absence. But if there’s anyone that can pull off a miracle, it’s Belichick.

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