By KYLE HIGHTOWER, AP Sports Writer
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says the New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower will miss Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers and is facing season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.READ MORE: FDA Head: Baby Formula Factory Could Reopen By Next Week
The surgery will be for a torn pectoral muscle, the person told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Thursday because it has not yet been announced by the team.READ MORE: Wynonna Judd To Continue Planned Tour With Guests As Tribute To Late Mother Naomi
Hightower left Sunday’s win over Atlanta in the second half with the shoulder issue and sat out the first practice of the week on Wednesday. He’s missed two games this season with a knee injury.
It comes as a blow for a Patriots defense that has improved in recent weeks, but continues to rank last in the NFL in total defense giving up 426.7 yards per game.
Hightower has 14 tackles and two sacks on the season. In March he signed a new four-year deal worth $35.5 million.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)