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Steelers' Alex Highsmith suffers neck injury against New England Patriots

Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: Dec. 6, 2023 (Pt. 1)
Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: Dec. 6, 2023 (Pt. 1) 08:51

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Alex Highsmith suffered a neck injury during Thursday's game against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium. 

In a post on social media, the team said he will not return to action. Highsmith went down with 14 minutes, 47 seconds remaining in the second quarter after a run by Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott. On Friday, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported, citing sources, that Highsmith entered concussion protocol. 

One play after the injury, the Patriots took a 14-3 lead after an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bailey Zappe to tight end Hunter Henry.

New England's short touchdown drive was set up by an interception from defensive back Jabrill Peppers. Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is starting for Kenny Pickett, who suffered an ankle injury against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 3. Pickett underwent surgery on a high ankle sprain earlier this week. 

The Patriots' first touchdown came when Zappe found Elliott for an 11-yard score on the game's opening drive. It was New England's first opening-drive touchdown of the season.

Highsmith has 49 tackles and 6 sacks through the first 12 games of the season. So far, he has not missed a game in his four-year NFL career.

In the offseason, Highsmith signed a 5-year deal worth $68 million. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte product was a third-round pick in the 2020 Draft by the Steelers.

The Steelers (7-5) came into the game in fifth place in the AFC, while the Patriots (2-10) have the second-worst record in the league. 

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