Linebacker and defensive captain Dont’a Hightower was put on injured reserve by the New England Patriots, who announced the move Tuesday.
Hightower left in the second half of New England’s victory over Atlanta on Oct. 22 because of 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.
Hightower had 14 tackles and two sacks this season. In March, he signed a four-year deal worth $35.5 million.