The Patriots hold a double-digit lead in Buffalo, but one of their starting linebackers has returned to the locker room.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes is dehydrated and his return to the game is called questionable. Spikes only played a few snaps before leaving the field with trainers. Donta Hightower has replaced him in the team’s nickel packages, which they’ve used a lot against three receiver looks from Buffalo.
The defense has held up well without Spikes. They forced a fumble on Buffalo’s first possession and forced punts the other two times that the Bills had the ball in the first quarter. Penalties didn’t help the Bills, who have kept things pretty conservative to this point in the contest. Rookie E.J. Manuel is 4-of-6 for 19 yards and they’ve run the ball seven times for the same amount.
The Patriots lead 10-0 early in the second quarter.