Buffalo Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes and Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib both say their former team, the New England Patriots, have put out false information about them on their official injury reports, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN Boston.
Spikes played through much of the 2013 season with a nagging knee injury and was placed on season-ending injured reserve January 6th, less than a week before their divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. However, ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen reported Spikes mutually agreed to be placed on injured reserve to avoid being cut after showing up late to a team meeting.
"I heard they put me on the IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report," Spikes said. "That's just how things go there. Almost like what happened with Talib and his hip."
Spikes' agent Gary Uberstine also denied that there was any mutual agreement for him to be placed on injured reserve.
"The team's decision to place Brandon on injured reserve was not a mutual decision, nor need it be," said Uberstine. "Brandon had every intention to keep playing throughout the playoffs, despite the pain he was experiencing throughout the season. 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."
Talib appeared on the Patriots injury report nearly every week last season. But after signing a six-year $57 million deal with the Broncos, Talib claims he hasn't had a hip injury since his days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who traded him to New England prior to the 2012 trade deadline.
"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."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a history of keeping quiet and being very cryptic about player injuries, so the news shouldn't come as much of a surprise. It also shouldn't come as any surprise if the league looks to investigate Belichick and the Patriots to see how the team goes about their business when it comes to the weekly injury reports each team is required to provide.