FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots have placed linebacker Brandon Spikes on injured reserve because of a knee injury.
The move Friday that ends the season of the team's second-leading tackler comes five days before the Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC divisional-round playoff game.
Spikes is New England's fourth key defensive player to be lost for the season. The other three - tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly and linebacker Jerod Mayo - went on injured reserve in the first half of the season.
Spikes is a strong run defender and is second on the team this season with 134 tackles, three behind linebacker Dont'a Hightower. The Patriots drafted Spikes in the second round in 2010 out of Florida.