Bill Belichick may be a stickler for details, but it’s hard not to be a little puzzled by the earlier report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen’s regarding the reasons surrounding Brandon Spikes being placed on injured reserve last week.
According to Mortensen it was Spikes’ late arrival during the team’s meeting last Friday that was the “last straw” for head coach Bill Belichick, prompting the former second round pick to be placed on injured reserve by his coach just one week before they were set to battle the Colts in the AFC Divisional round. Spikes, who has battled through injuries this season and fought to keep himself on the field, has said and done the right things all season and has made up for his shortcomings with his electric and infectious attitude that has certainly seemed to help bring out the best in the guys around him.
Heading into tonight’s game against the Colts, it’s hard to believe Belichick wouldn’t have wanted him out there if his knee was willing to permit him to do so. According to other reports, the decision for Spikes to shut it down was mutual, which judging by what we’ve seen this season with his toughness and desire to play, getting Spikes to agree to that would likely have been the more difficult battle.
The weather was bad that Friday and likely played a part in the veteran not getting to the stadium on time, with Spikes tweeting about the fact he couldn’t get out of his driveway, followed by another photo of his stuck car where he Tweeted, “Help!!” Anyone who has ever had a knee injury can only imagine shoveling all of that while hobbling on it. It likely hampered him, which probably didn’t didn’t help his effort to get to the stadium on time.
That being said, Belichick may not be a fan of players being late and set the precedent when he sent home Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Derrick Burgess, and Gary Guyton a couple of years ago. However, comparatively, Thomas was a malcontent here and lashed out immediately following the incident, which happened in December right before their week 14 match-up against Carolina. He was deactivated for that game, yet played the following week against the Bills. He also wasn’t released until the following April.
There’s certainly a stark contrast between the two players, who are on opposite ends of the spectrum in that regard. There haven’t been any reported occurrences of behavioral issues with Spikes, who aside from being a little quirky hasn’t had any issues otherwise. Needless to say there weren’t any signs that pointed to any type of rift building and his desire to keep playing could only have helped his cause.
With a successful playoff run on the line Bill Belichick likely knows how important having him on the roster would have been to his football team. Spikes did all he could throughout the injury to stay out there, and logic would lead you to believe the reason to shut him down more likely stemmed from the two agreeing it was better to look out for Spikes’ long-term health.
Spikes is set to be a free agent after this season, so hopefully that decision was also made with hopes he’ll be healthy enough to be back on the field in a Patriots uniform in 2014.