BREAKING: Dont'a Hightower out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle

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The Patriots defense looked like it was just starting to come around, and now it will be without its leader for the remainder of the year.

Lineback Dont'a Hightower was already reported to miss this week's game against the Chargers with a shoulder injury, but now multiple reports are saying he's out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle.

This is a brutal blow for the defense to take, as Hightower is the play caller and can play on the edge or at linebacker. Due to a lack of pass rush, he was heavily used as an edge rusher this year. In five games, he totaled two sacks and 12 solo tackles.

Kyle Van Noy will call the plays in Hightower's absence. With a big hole to fill on the defense, some may look to Bill Belichick to make a trade if for no other reason than to add depth.

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