The New England Patriots have placed linebacker and defensive captain Dont'a Hightower on injured reserve.
The team announced the move Tuesday. Hightower left in the second half of New England's win over Atlanta on Oct. 22 with a right shoulder injury.
A person familiar with the situation said last month that Hightower would need season-ending surgery on his shoulder. The surgery was for a torn pectoral muscle, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced by the team.
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Hightower had 14 tackles and two sacks this season. In March, he signed a four-year deal worth $35.5 million.
New England also announced it has signed veteran defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois.