NFL

Patriots place LB Spikes on IR ; Fletcher to dress

{eot}
The Canadian Press
1/7/2014 5:36:12 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The mantra of the New England Patriots when a player gets injured is "next man up."

This week that man will be backup linebacker Dane Fletcher.

With Brandon Spikes joining three key defenders on injured reserve with a knee injury, Fletcher is likely to see a lot more action when the Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC divisional-playoff game Saturday night.

"Everybody has to step up," Fletcher said Tuesday. "Everybody's role kind of increases on defence, especially in the linebacker unit."

Spikes, an outstanding run stopper in his fourth season, was placed on injured reserve Monday.

That left the Patriots with six linebackers on their 53-man roster, including rookie free agent Ja'Gared Davis, who was signed off the practice squad Tuesday. Two others have played very little on defence. Rookie Steve Beauharnais has one tackle in two games and Chris White has one defensive tackle while being used mostly on special teams.

The remaining starters are Don't'a Hightower and rookie Jamie Collins, a first-round draft choice.

Fletcher, a better pass defender than Spikes, has averaged just 14 defensive snaps in the 15 games he's played, starting just one. He played more than half the snaps only once, against Denver and Peyton Manning.

"Spikes has done a great job this year," safety Devin McCourty said, "being a guy that's been a leader on the defence, a guy that's stepped up and made key plays, I think, like he's always done, but really stepping into a leadership role. But now it's 'next man up' and being ready to go."

That figures to be Fletcher.

"Every play matters. Every second you're in there matters," he said. "It could be one problem play that costs your whole team so you don't want to be that guy. So it's just kind of that time of the year where everything amps up in every aspect of the game."

New England has played most of the season with three of its best defensive players on injured reserve. Tackle Vince Wilfork played the first four games, tackle Tommy Kelly played the first five and linebacker Jerod Mayo played the first six.

The Patriots did well enough without them to earn a first-round bye.

But will the latest injury be one too many?

"I hope not," McCourty said with a laugh.

Brandon Spikes (Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Podcasts

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: Septemeber 2nd - Alex Marvez

Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 joins the show to discuss Jim Irsay, Michael Sam, and J.J Watt.

TSN 1050: Game Night: September 1 - Matt Florjancic

WKYC Cleveland's Matt Florjancic joins Andy McNamara and John Letherby on Game Night.

TSN 1050: Game Night: Joe Horrigan - July 30

Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of Communications Joe Horrigan joined Game Night with Jim Tatti & Andy McNamara to talk NFL Hall of Fame Weekend


More Podcasts

NFL on TSN and CTV

Sunday, September 21

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CKPR)


Houston Texans at New York Giants - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CITL)


Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Montreal, CTV Atlantic, CTV Saskatchewan)


Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Winnipeg)


Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions - 1pm et/10am pt (CTV Two Toronto, CTV Two Ottawa, CTV Two London, CTV Two Vancouver Island, CTV Two Alberta, CTV Two Atlantic)


Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks - 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt (CTV Toronto, CTV Kitchener, CTV Ottawa, CTV Northern Ontario, CTV Montreal, CTV Vancouver, CTV Alberta, CTV Saskatchewan, CTV Winnipeg, CTV Two Atlantic, CKPR, CITL)


Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers
8:15pm et/5:15pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


Monday, September 22

Chicago Bears at New York Jets
7pm et/4pm pt (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)


NFL on TSN Broadcast Schedule

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television