BOSTON (CBS) — Dont’a Hightower had to leave the Patriots’ 42-27 loss to the Chiefs on Thursday night in the third quarter, but it appears that the Patriots linebacker avoided a serious injury.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted on Friday that Hightower suffered a “minor” MCL sprain in his right knee on Thursday night. Hightower got injured when his leg got twisted up after Chiefs center Mitch Morse rolled over his right foot, riding a stationary bike on the sidelines for much of the remainder of the game.

According to Rapoport, the 10-day layoff between now and the Patriots’ next game could give Hightower enough time to be ready for Week 2 next Sunday in New Orleans against Drew Brees and the Saints.

dl donta hightower patriots chiefs1 Report: Hightower Suffers Minor Knee Sprain, Could Play Week 2

Dont’a Hightower is helped by training staff after suffering an injury against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 7, 2017. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The Patriots will certainly need their defensive signal caller, as they allowed 42 points and 537 total yards of offense to the Chiefs – both record highs against Bill Belichick. His injury on Thursday plainly showed the strain that will be put on the linebacker depth chart whenever he isn’t on the field.

But Hightower certainly dodged a bullet in avoiding a major injury, which is arguably the best news to come from an otherwise poor effort by the defense in the season opener.


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