The Patriots announced on Monday afternoon that they've placed linebacker Brandon Spikes on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury.
Last week the Boston Globe reported that Spikes would need knee surgery after the season, but after Spikes re-aggravated his knee injury against the Bills in Week 17, his offseason is coming sooner than expected.
Spikes played 44 of 70 snaps against Buffalo in New England's 34-20 win. In his absence, Dane Fletcher will likely see more time at the inside linebacker spot for the Patriots. Rookie linebacker Jamie Collins could also see extended action, depending on which defensive packages the Pats choose to employ against the Andrew Luck and the Colts in the Divisional Round on Saturday.
Spikes played in all 16 games this season with 12 starts and 134 total tackles. His loss means the Patriots have now lost four defensive starters to season-ending IR this season, including Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Tommy Kelly.