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Dont'a Hightower acknowledges he put in extra work this offseason to stay healthy

Ryan Hannable
July 26, 2018 - 7:53 pm

FOXBORO -- Dont'a Hightower knows how important he is to the Patriots defense.

The linebacker is the one that leads the communication up front and that became was clear when he missed much of the year last season. Due to shoulder surgery at the end of October he played in just five games, which continued his trend of missing time each year. Since 2013, he's played 13 games or less every year.

The Patriots didn't make any additions at the linebacker position this offseason, so it's even more imperative for Hightower to stay on the field, and he knows it. 

Speaking after the first training camp session Thursday, Hightower acknowledged he put in extra work this offseason to stay healthier than in year's past.

“It would mean a lot," he said when asked about playing a full 16-game season. "I definitely put in a lot of work in the offseason. I haven’t done it yet, but it’s just important to me because even when I maybe miss a few games during the year it really hurts me more ... that I let down my teammates than anybody else. But, I mean, it’s part of football, and I’m doing everything I can to rehab, in the workout room, out here, anywhere else to do what I can, so hopefully it won’t be a problem.”

Although Super Bowl LII wasn't the best night for the defense, Hightower said the unit has already moved on and it's a new season.

“Yeah, that just sucks, but I don’t think any of those guys are going to let that hold over their heads,” he said. “I’m sure they’re focused on this year. That Super Bowl last year is gone, it’s over with. We’re focusing on training camp — we’re focusing on getting ready for that first preseason game.”

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