New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes has been dealing with a lingering knee injury, but that doesn't seem to be the only reason why he was suddenly placed on injured reserve this week. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Spikes was late to a team meeting during the Patriots' bye week, which may have played a part in their decision to shut him down for the playoffs. Mortensen's report is contested by others, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported:
Asked a source close to Brandon Spikes if being late to Friday practice helped lead to him being on IR. "Do you believe that stuff?"— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2014
Spikes has been battling ligament damage in his knee for several weeks and will require surgery after the season, but it appears that he's played his last game for New England. A former second-round pick in 2010, Spikes spent his entire four-year career with the Patriots. He's due to become a free agent in the offseason.
Spikes ends his regular season with 86 tackles, one interception and two passes defended. Assuming his knee is healthy, the 26-year-old will be one of the top linebackers on the free agent market.