First we had Spy gate and now we have injury gate – life is never dull where the New England Patriots are concerned. The latest allegations – coming from players who have just left and may have a vested interest in sticking the knife in, is that they were placed on Injured Reserve when they thought they were fit.
First with the knife is Line Backer Brandon Spikes – who has just joined the Patriots Divisional rival Buffalo. Who told ESPN “I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report”. However in another statement from his agent on the matter it appears that he did have injury concerns with Gary Uberstine stating “Brandon had every intention to keep playing throughout the Playoffs , despite the pain he was experiencing throughout the season”. So it seems there was an injury and that he had been playing through the pain for most of the regular season. This doesn’t sound like a big scandal – its more like a tough decision along the lines of do we go into sudden death games where the opponents will be equally fired up with a player who is banged up or do we rest him for a couple of weeks and get him ready if we do make then Super Bowl. What we can say is that his Combined Tackles and Total Tackles per game were well down on his 2011 & 2012 numbers, supporting the fact that he was playing beaten up and needed a rest.
Then somewhat spurred on by Spikes Aqib Talib who has just defected to the Broncos who will be one of the Partiots main AFC rivals in 2014 decided to get in on the act regarding a reported Hip Injury. Here he states his hip was fine but that he did have a Quad injury. He confirmed this stating “The Patriots have their way of reporting stuff, but I haven’t had a hip problem since Tampa,” Talib said. “The injury I had was actually a quad injury. It was reported as a hip injury, but that’s how they do things.” So again we have a non story relating to a potentially mis-described injury.
Had both players been resigned and complained their stories may have had more credence but right now they sound like sour grapes and a bit of mud slinging. Shame as both are great players who you would expect better things from.