FOXBORO – (wire Service Report by The Sports Xchange) – The New England Patriots activated linebacker Dont’a Hightower from the physically unable to perform list. A defensive captain, Hightower had been nursing an undisclosed physical ailment that kept him off the field in voluntary spring practices. He had been wearing a brace over his right knee during the start of training camp.
Hightower signed a four-year contract extension this offseason with a base value of $35.5 million and more than $17 million in guaranteed money.
The 27-year-old Hightower’s fourth-quarter strip sack of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was one of the key plays in Super Bowl LI, helping the Patriots complete their rally from a 25-point deficit to win the contest.
Hightower had 65 tackles and 2.5 sacks last season. He has 372 tackles and 17 sacks in his career since being selected by New England with the 25th overall pick of the 2012 draft