The Patriots’ decision to place linebacker Brandon Spikes on injured reserve came with varying reports about the reason why the Patriots decided to end his season.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that Spikes was late for a practice during the playoff bye week, leading Bill Belichick to make the decision to put him on IR because releasing him would give other playoff teams a chance to sign him. Tom Curran of CSN New England reported that Spikes missed practice altogether before the transaction, while Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported that reports of tardiness were unfounded and that all parties decided it was best to make the mutual decision to shut Spikes down rather than have him continue to play through a lingering knee injury.
Now we’ve heard from Spikes’ agent Gary Uberstine as well. Uberstine released a statement Monday night in order to clear up “erroneous points” about the end of Spikes’ season. Uberstine says it wasn’t a mutual decision to place Spikes on injured reserve and that there was never a threat of release from the Patriots.
“The team’s decision to place Brandon on Injured Reserve was not a mutual decision, nor need it be. Brandon had every intention to keep playing throughout the playoffs, despite the pain he was experiencing throughout the season,” Uberstine said in the statement, via the Boston Globe. “We never had a single conversation with the Patriots in which they threatened to release him if he didn’t accept the Injured Reserve designation. Spikes has been a great teammate, and nobody can question the passion with which he plays the game, or how important he had been to the Patriots success. Although he is disappointed that he won’t be able to line up alongside his teammates this weekend against the Broncos, he won’t let these rumors serve as a distraction.”
Spikes won’t need to have surgery to repair the PCL injury and is set to become a free agent in March. With rookie Jamie Collins playing well in Spikes’ place against Indianapolis, Spikes’ time in New England could be at an end.