The Patriots have announced inside linebacker Brandon Spikes has been placed on the injured reserve with a knee injury. This is freaking ridiculous.
Spikes has been nursing a knee injury for a few weeks now, even though he was still playing two downs on defense. He's one of the most stout run defenders in the league, so losing his presence as it starts to get cold and deeper into the playoffs is a huge loss.
With the loss of Spikes, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork, and Tommy Kelly, the Patriots are now left with approximately zero of the players they wanted to start in the heart of the defense.
Expect Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins to continue to play more and more snaps and their importance cannot be any greater than it currently stands. Look for the Patriots to make a move to add linebacker depth as Dane Fletcher will likely assume the third linebacker spot.