Following Dont'a Hightower opting out of the 2020 season and then not participating at the start of the voluntary offseason workout program, there were some who were beginning to wonder if the linebacker would actually play in 2021.
That appears to no longer be a question.
According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, Hightower has been at the Gillette Stadium facility in recent days, which has his teammates happy. There's even a chance he could join them on the field for Thursday's OTA session.
Hightower is one of the most valuable players on the defensive side of the ball, something inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo alluded to last week.
“I’ll be honest, it was huge,” Mayo said when discussing Hightower's absence last season. “It was huge. And I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, it’s like the times that I wasn’t hurt, I was kind of a coach on the field. So having a guy like Hightower — at the end of the day, you can call the play, but as soon as you cross the white lines, those guys are in charge. Any time you have a guy as smart as Hightower, who’s able to cross the white lines, you feel comfortable. Like, this guy is going to make the right decision nine times out of 10.”