The New England Patriots had a few players who were banged up as the team advanced to Super Bowl XLIX. One member in particular, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, played the entire postseason with a totally torn right labrum.
Ouch. So, when he made a game-saving tackle on Seattle Seahawks’ stout rusher Marshawn Lynch, Hightower managed the critical stop on one good arm.
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) February 2, 2015
A third-year player out of Alabama, Hightower fought through the painful because he was so close to a Super Bowl victory. Clearly, the reward was worth the discomfort. Hightower explained the experience and his prognosis for healing to The Boston Herald.
I’ll take a torn shoulder any day to get a Super Bowl ring.
… Right now, I’m doing well. The doc likes everything he’s seen. I just had my checkup. I’m right on track, if not better. I’m not sure what I’m going to be able to do as far as OTAs and training camp and all that other stuff goes. But I’m looking forward to being back.
With the team’s current depth at linebacker lacking due to Hightower’s situation, the Patriots would be wise to consider deepening the position during the offseason, particularly in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Regardless, there is probably not one Patriot who would have done anything any differently than Hightower with a gorgeous, blingy ring on the line.
Photo: USA Today Images