Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Dont'a Hightower changed offseason routine to help prevent injuries

Ryan Hannable
September 05, 2018 - 5:44 pm

FOXBORO -- It's hard to discuss Dont'a Hightower without mentioning his injury history and how he hasn't played more than 13 games since 2013.

The linebacker is certainly well-aware of it and noted Wednesday how he took steps this offseason to help prevent them from happening.

“The biggest thing was I tried and hit those small muscles that you’re not always hitting and try and treat those more in more of a different rehab routine," he said. "It was more acupuncture, soft tissue and things of that nature that I have been really educated on since the injury. I feel good now, and I am going to continue on that throughout the year.”

On the field, one of the biggest differences with the defense is Brian Flores is now the leader, taking over for Matt Patricia. Like he did over the summer, Hightower indicated again how things are more simple and it allows them to play faster.

“It’s a little bit easier," he said. "The playbook is still the playbook, but it is a little easier and we’re able to play a little bit faster. A lot of guys appreciate that.”

Hightower added: “The approach that he has kind of taken was really hands on and kind of being honest with us. Kind of told us what it was and what we needed to do to be a good defense and what we needed to do to prevent [us] from doing that. We kind of hit the ground and have been running ever since.”

Hightower and the Patriots defense will have a good idea of where they are following Sunday, as they will be taking on Deshaun Watson and a powerful Houston offense.

Related: First injury report of season released