COMMENTARY | Injuries are part of every sport. Great teams respond to tough breaks, as a team's depth begins to take center stage as the year goes on. The New England Patriots are certainly not strangers to this.
On the defensive side of the ball alone, there have been plenty of bad injuries for New England. Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork, two of the team's best defensive players and run stoppers, suffered season ending injuries. Aqib Talib, the team's best corner back, fought through nagging injuries for much of the regular season.
Now, you can throw Brandon Spikes on that list. The New England linebacker has been placed on season ending IR, according to ESPN, meaning he will not suit up in this weekend's matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Spikes has been a huge part of the team's defense, particularly when it comes to stopping the run.
Luckily for the Patriots, they're preparing for a team that will most likely look to win this weekend's game through the air. The Colts have struggled to run the ball, despite acquiring the talented Trent Richardson during the season from the Cleveland Browns. They should look to throw the ball plenty against New England, where Spikes probably wouldn't have been much of a factor. He's very good at stopping the run; not so much when it comes to pass coverage.
For this weekend, anyway, this loss can be overcome. The Colts can't run the ball, as it seems very clear they're calling their offense through Andrew Luck. Regardless, there will be some running downs, and Spikes will be missed in those situations.
This will be a bigger blow if the Patriots can advance past this weekend. For now, New England probably won't need another run stopper against the Colts. Still, you can't help but wonder how many big injuries this defensive unit can withstand.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
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