New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes was surprisingly placed on injured reserve last week, even though he had been able to play at a high level with a lingering knee problem.
A source close to Spikes told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport that the run-stopper was not moved to IR as punishment for being late to a team meeting last Friday, as ESPN reported.
Now, Spikes' representatives have released a statement insisting the injured reserve designation "was not a mutual decision."
"Brandon had every intention to keep playing throughout the playoffs, despite the pain he was experiencing throughout the season," the statement said. "We never had a single conversation with the Patriots in which they threatened to release him if he didn't accept the injured reserve designation."
Spikes is due to reach free agency in March. The Patriots will likely move on after watching 2013 second-round draft pick Jamie Collins play like a multidimensional star in the divisional round victory over the Colts.