Dont'a Hightower knew 'something wasn't right' with Jets RB Chris Ivory

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower was one of the star performers on defense in the team's 30-23 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday, and he said the first play of the game was telling when it came to the top goal of limiting running back Chris Ivory.

"Chris is a good running back and he doesn't back down from a challenge, but that first play, him bouncing out, you could kind of tell something wasn't right," Hightower said during his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI. "Him not trying to continue to get to the edge, or even him seeing a DB [defensive back] and not trying to run him over, you could kind of tell something was going on. I guess he tried to play through it."

Ivory finished with 41 yards on 17 carries (2.4 avg.) and acknowledged after the game that his hamstring injury affected him when it came to "getting around the edge."

"It's tough for something like that to happen on the first play, real tough, but I was able to work through and finish the game," Ivory said.

On the play, safety Patrick Chung was an eighth defender in the box and he came in unblocked as Ivory bounced his run to the outside and was tackled by Chung and linebacker Jamie Collins for a 4-yard loss.

"The whole deal yesterday was we really wanted to take away the run. That's what they are known for. We were real happy on that," Hightower said.

Hightower finished with 10 tackles after missing the Oct. 18 win over the Colts with an injury to his ribs. His physical presence was notable.

"I feel the toll," he said on the program.