New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower will miss the remainder of the season with a torn pectoral muscle, multiple outlets reported on Thursday.
Hightower was injured late in the third quarter of Sunday's 23-7 victory over Atlanta after tackling Falcons running back Devonta Freeman. The 27-year-old Hightower remained in the contest for one more play before watching from the sideline.
Signed to a four-year, $35.5 million contract in the offseason, Hightower has been credited with 14 tackles and two sacks in five games this season.
Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, David Harris, Marquis Flowers will be looked upon to shoulder the load in Hightower's absence.
Hightower's fourth-quarter strip sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was one of the key plays in Super Bowl LI, helping the Patriots complete their rally from a 25-point deficit to win the Lombardi Trophy.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Hightower owns 386 tackles and 19.0 sacks in his career since being selected by New England with the 25th overall pick of the 2012 draft out of Alabama.