Tight end Rob Gronkowski’s knee injury commanded the lion’s share of the attention coming out of Sunday night’s Patriots loss, but he wasn’t the only key member of the team to leave the contest with an injury.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower also departed early with a knee injury. Like Gronkowski, Hightower appears to have avoided a severe injury but may join the tight end on the sideline in the near future.
Albert Breer of NFL Media reports that Hightower suffered a sprained MCL. There’s no timetable given for how long he might be out, although such injuries typically keep a player out for at least a little while.
Before Hightower went out on Sunday night, Denver had 43 yards on 15 carries. Ronnie Hillman scored on a 19-yard run a couple of plays after he left the game and the Broncos would go on to put up 136 yards on 17 carries overall with Hightower out of the game. The Patriots were missing Jamie Collins at linebacker as well and it’s probably not a coincidence that the Broncos were able to run so well with those two missing from the lineup.