Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty Adapting Roles To Help Patriots’ Defense

FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ two most established defensive leaders both are playing different positions this season — or, at least, mixing up their alignment much more than they have in the past.

Dont’a Hightower, New England’s star linebacker, began this season as an edge rusher following the offseason departures of Chris Long, Jabaal Sheard and Rob Ninkovich. In last Thursday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he played both, spending some of his snaps on the...

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