Anyone who watched Sunday night's game between the Patriots and the Broncos knows that the Patriots need their defense to get healthy, specifically their linebackers. Although it is known that Dont'a Hightower is out for a few weeks with an MCL sprain and that does hurt, New England will see the return of Hightower's partner in crime, outside linebacker Jamie Collins. Collins has been out with an unspecified illness and his injury has clearly had a negative effect on the Patriots defense. Collins has 51 tackles and 4.5 sacks this season, and he's been out since the Washington game.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the illness Collins is battling, but the Patriots have stated publicly that it's simply a virus that anyone could catch. Many wondered if this could be a staph infection or MRSA, but Patriots President Jonathan Kraft quickly put those rumors to rest during an interview on 98.5, The Sports Hub.
Kraft: “Fortunately, this wasn’t a situation where that could happen. Jamie’s getting better and getting stronger every day. I know people in non-football life that end up with really bad viruses. When it happens to a professional athlete, it resonates much more loudly. This doesn’t have us worried about the physical infrastructure at the facility.”
Assuming Collins remains on the same track and is good to go for Sunday's game, that is a huge boost to a defense that needs to have as many playmakers on the field as possible.
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