Another Spygate? Former Patriots say team is cheating injury reports
The New England Patriots are being outed by multiple former players this offseason who are taking issue with how they say the team reports injuries.
New Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes disputes a knee injury that placed him on the Patriots’ injured reserve in January. Spikes first showed up on the Patriots’ injury report Nov. 20 with a knee injury. He played through the bum knee before being placed on injured reserve Jan. 6.
“I know I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report,” Spikes said Monday on WGR in Buffalo. “That’s just how things go there. Almost like what happened with (Aqib) Talib and his hip.
“That was just from the labor throughout the season, man. It was just — you know how it is — it’s a tough 16 games. All I needed was rest and rehab.”
It was reported in January that Spikes was placed on injured reserve because he missed a practice after a snowstorm.
Talib said he injured his quad, not his hip, during the 2013 season. The Patriots listed Talib’s hip on the injury report, however. Talib said last week that “the Patriots have their own way of reporting” injuries.
On Thursday, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello reportedly said in an email, “We do not plan to comment on the claims."
The Patriots, of course, are infamous for the SpyGate controversy of 2007 when a member of the team’s video department was caught videotaping Jets’ coaching signals during a game. After a contentious investigation, the NFL eventually fined the Patriots $250,000 and docked them their first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft — plus gave Bill Belichick a $500,000 fine, the largest levied on a head coach in league history.