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Brandon Spikes Downgraded to Questionable for Patriots

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The Patriots could be without their best linebacker, Brandon Spikes, as he was downgraded to questionable this morning.

Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE

The New England Patriots may be without yet another starter on defense tonight against the Broncos, as the New England Patriots have officially downgraded linebacker Brandon Spikes from probable to questionable.

Spikes injured his knee against the Panthers.  And despite being limited in practice all week, he was expected to suit up on Sunday night as he was listed as probable.

The last minute downgrade for Spikes is anything but a positive sign, as it likely means his knee hasn't responded to treatment and practice as hoped.

Should Spikes miss tonight's game, the Patriots will be without their best run stuffer.  The Broncos have an unheralded running game, and should they develop a big lead early, the Patriots would struggle to slow the run without Spikes.  I've said it often - the run defense now goes as Brandon Spikes goes.

Dane Fletcher, Dont'a Hightower, and Jamie Collins would likely be the starting linebackers in the base without Spikes.  Hopefully, the Patriots can put up some points early, and the base defense won't be much of a factor for the defense.