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Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower misses Thursday practice due to illness

Dont'a Hightower

New England Patriots Dont’a Hightower missed practice on Thursday due to an illness, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.

Fortunately for Hightower, he has plenty of time to get well before the Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night.

On the season, Hightower played in 15 games and registered 48 tackles, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery.

The 28-year-old, who played his collegiate football at the University of Alabama, was originally selected by the Patriots in the first round (25th pick overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.

He immediately started for New England during his rookie campaign and was very impressive, finishing with 60 tackles, four sacks, a pair of fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.

Hightower went on to become a consistent force on the Pats’ defense, although he has played just one full 16-game season over the course of his seven-year NFL career due to injuries.

Last season, as a matter of fact, Hightower was limited to just five games due to a torn pectoral muscle.

The Lewisburg, Tn. native has made one Pro Bowl thus far, earning a trip to Honolulu in 2016 after posting 65 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble over 13 games.

His best year, however, came in 2014, when he racked up 105 tackles, six sacks and a forced fumble. Oddly enough, Hightower did not make the Pro Bowl that season.

The Patriots are coming off wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs and are looking to win their sixth Super Bowl since Tom Brady took over as quarterback in 2001.