Patriots place run-stopping LB Brandon Spikes (knee) on IR list

The Patriots will lose one of the NFL's best run-stoppers in Brandon Spikes. (USATSI)
The Patriots will lose one of the NFL's best run-stoppers in Brandon Spikes. (USATSI)

Wild Card Weekend: 49ers 23, Packers 20 | Chargers 27, Bengals 10 | Scores

Despite playing all 16 games for the Patriots this season, linebacker Brandon Spikes has been bothered for much for 2013 with a bum knee. Now, that knee will cost him a chance to play in the postseason.

That's because the team announced Monday afternoon that it had placed Spikes on the IR list, which ends his season.

It's a big loss for the Patriots, because Spikes was the third-leading tackler on the team and because he's one of the best run-stopping linebackers in the NFL (in fact, Pro Football Focus's metrics ranked him as the best run-stopping linebacker in the league).

Considering the Patriots are ranked 30th in run defense, this is no small deal -- remember the team is still playing without Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo.

On the season, Spikes accumulated 86 tackles, only slightly down from his career-best of 92 in 2012, and he also managed to corral the second interception of his career.

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