NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that linebacker Dont'a Hightower is believed to have suffered a minor MCL sprain, according to a source informed of the situation.
Rapoport adds that with the 10-day break before the Patriots hit the field again, Hightower could play in Week 2.
Hightower exited Thursday's loss midway through the third quarter after getting his leg rolled up on by Chiefs offensive lineman Mitch Morse. The veteran linebacker was seen riding a stationary bike on the sidelines but didn't return to the game. He played just 35 snaps.
The 27-year-old avoiding major injury is a huge sigh of relief for Patriots fans. New England's front seven lacks playmakers, especially when Hightower is out of the game. Even if he's not able to suit up against the Saints in Week 2, Friday's news is a positive sign for a Patriots defense with plenty of question marks after getting eaten up by Alex Smith and rookie running back Kareem Hunt on Thursday night.