If the Patriots are going to keep the momentum rolling without Tom Brady in Week 2 against the Dolphins, it sounds like they’ll have to do it without their middle linebacker, as well. Dont’a Hightower missed his third consecutive practice on Friday, Jeff Howe for the Boston Globe reports, typically a strong indicator a player will be unavailable Sunday.
Hightower injured his knee during the first quarter of New England’s Week 1 victory against the Cardinals. Howe notes the fifth-year player missed time due to a sprained MCL last season, and in fact has only managed to suit for 16 games in a season once in his NFL career.
If there are any positives to be taken away, it’s the Patriots have seemingly got along fine without Hightower in the past, based on their never-ending string of division championships. Of course, Brady has been under center all the times he previously missed, so this time might be a little different.
Jimmy Garappolo more than held his own under center for the Patriots last week. Then again, so did the Miami defense against Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in a 12-10 loss that came down to the wire. This has the potential to be a tight game, so any absence is potentially big.
Sixth-round draft pick Elandon Roberts is listed as the backup middle linebacker on the Patriots depth chart. If coach Bill Belichick does in fact to decide to go that way, you can bet the Dolphins offense will be targeting the rookie.