Patriots downgrade Brandon Spikes from probable to questionable

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The Patriots’ chances of having linebacker Brandon Spikes in the lineup against the Broncos on Sunday night have gotten a little worse.

The team announced that Spikes has been downgraded from probable to questionable for the prime time showdown. Spikes suffered a knee injury in last Monday night’s loss to the Panthers, but he was able to be a limited participant in practice all last week.

If Spikes can’t play, it could mean good things for running back Knowshon Moreno and the rest of the Broncos ground game. Spikes is one of the Patriots’ top weapons against the run and Dane Fletcher, who would be in line for an uptick in playing time, doesn’t offer the same unwelcoming presence on defense.

The Broncos may be without tight end Julius Thomas as well. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Sunday morning that “it’s not looking good” for a player who was listed as questionable because of a knee injury suffered in Week 11. It looks like both Spikes and Thomas will wind up being game-time decisions shortly before kickoff on Sunday night.