Although Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes had been dealing with a knee injury for weeks, it came as a surprise when Spikes was placed on injured reserve last week. After all, Spikes had managed to play in all 16 games during the regular season, and there had been no reports of his knee injury getting worse.
But it appears that there was more to Spikes’s injured reserve designation than just his knee.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Spikes was late to the Patriots’ Friday bye week practice, and that was the final straw that resulted in Bill Belichick deciding to put Spikes on IR. The weather was bad on Friday, and Spikes wrote on Twitter that he was stuck in the snow, but Belichick has a history of not accepting bad weather as an excuse for being late to practice: He once sent Randy Moss, Derrick Burgess, Adalius Thomas and Gary Guyton home when they showed up late to work on a snowy day.
Placing Spikes on injured reserve serves as something of a compromise: For Spikes, it allows him to collect his playoff pay, which he wouldn’t receive if the Patriots had cut him for showing up late to work. For the Patriots, it ensured that Spikes wouldn’t get picked up right away by the Colts, Broncos or Chargers.
The 26-year-old Spikes, who has played his entire four-year career in New England, becomes a free agent in March.