According to a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and the Boston Globe, Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes’ tardiness and bad attitude in practice was the final straw that sent him to injured reserve. The 62nd pick selected by the Patriots in the 2010 draft has accrued 286 tackles in four seasons, but after this season will become a free agent.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald was just on 98.5 The Sports Hub and said this could be the Patriots trying to decrease Spikes’ value on the open market and that putting him on IR was a ‘mutual decision.’ I couldn’t disagree more because it makes no sense in this spot. To me, this is a sign that Spikes is on his way out in New England as putting a line backer on IR, on an already depleted line backing unit, seems counter intuitive.
It’s counterintuitive because after Brandon Spikes, the next men up are Dane Fletcher and Steve Beauharnais along with starters Dont’a Hightower and rookie Jamie Collins. The Patriots currently rank 30th in rush defense allowing just over 134 yards per game so taking out Spikes, who excels in run defense, seems odd for a team that’s just trying to decrease his value.
If it’s just about decreasing his value, Belichick would not have picked the playoffs to do it and that’s a fact. Spikes is almost certainly gone in my mind. Spikes has had his issues with a PED suspension and I feel like he never reached what we thought he could be. That’s not to say he’s a bad player, but he isn’t an every down line backer in the NFL.
Spikes is heading to Los Angeles to get a second opinion on his knee in order to see if surgery is required. With this diagnosis, teams will be able to evaluate what Spikes is worth in free agency.