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The Patriots will be without their best run-stopper for the remainder of the season, after announcing Monday that linebacker Brandon Spikes had been placed on injured reserve.
Spikes, 26, has been dealing with a knee injury since at least the midway point of the season; a league source said it was a ligament problem that was causing Spikes a considerable amount of pain, and would likely require surgery once the season ended.
Spikes left the Patriots’ regular-season finale against Buffalo in the second half and did not return. He was on the field for practices last week, though he frequently spent time on the stationary bike during media-access periods during the season and has been listed as limited on injury reports.