BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots have been extremely healthy during the postseason, often submitting practice reports with nobody on them.

Unfortunately, that has changed now that New England is getting set to take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower missed Thursday’s practice in Atlanta due to an unknown illness.

Illnesses during Super Bowl week are a bit of a sore spot for the Patriots, given Malcolm Butler was sick to start Super Bowl week last year. And then the corner mysteriously didn’t play on defense as the Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles. We still have no idea why Butler didn’t play, but the sickness was a convenient excuse.

Chances are Hightower, a key component to New England’s linebacking corps, won’t be randomly benched come Sunday.

Elsewhere on New England’s practice report, defensive lineman Malcom Brown was a full participant after he was limited with a calf injury on Wednesday.

For the Rams, kicker Greg Zuerlein (left foot) was limited for the second straight day. Safety Blake Countess (foot) was also a limited participant after sitting out Wednesday’s practice.


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