The Patriots have few complaints about Brandon Spikes when he’s on the field.
Getting him there has been the problem.
The third-year middle linebacker missed was suspended four games as a rookie, and missed seven last year with knee problems before returning for the playoffs.
Getting that problem fixed cost him all the on-field work this spring, and he joined his teammates in the Patriots first defense for the first time Tuesday, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe.
“Oh, absolutely,” Spikes said when asked if he was glad to be back. “Definitely. It’s kind of frustrating watching from the sideline but just to get out, run around, get a little contact, it feels good.”
Spikes said the pace of his comeback was mandated, as he was told to do walk-throughs and warm-ups, but was sent to the side. And when he talked to reporters after practice, he brought back memories of Ricky Williams by doing the interview with his helmet on.
“I’m just working to get out there full time, so like I say, whatever they ask me to do, I try to do it at 100 percent,” he said. “I’m just working to get better. I can’t put a percentage on it, like I said, it’s day by day and step by step.”
If Spikes can stay on the field, the Patriots’ All-SEC linebacker corps (along with Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower could could help them turn things around.
But any assumptions about Spikes staying on the field are hard to make, which will leave their improvement up in the air.