Brandon Spikes, Aqib Talib claim Patriots falsify
By Matt Verderame @MattVerderame
on Mar 19 2014, 8:25a
The New England Patriots have always had their own way of doing things, usually with a secrecy attached that mirrors what the Iron Curtain was for the Soviet Union during the Cold War era.
Now, former Pariots Brandon Spikes and Aqib Talib are stepping to the fore, claiming the team lies about injuries, according to ESPN.com. Last season, New England claimed that Talib was suffering from a hip injury, when the new Denver Broncos cornerback claims that it was a quad injury, per the piece.
"The Patriots have their way of reporting stuff, but I haven't had a hip problem since Tampa," Talib said Wednesday. "The injury I had was actually a quad injury. It was reported as a hip injury, but that's how they do things."
The most obvious reason for lying about the location of an injury on a player's body is to protect him from being targeted during games in that area. It is a common practice in the National Hockey League, but not accepted in the NFL. Each week, teams are mandated to issue injury reports, stating whether a player is probable, questionable, doubtful or out. Along with that designation comes the actual injury.
The NFL is the only league that requires team's to provide an accurate weekly injury report.
Spikes also took New England to the mat, saying he did not agree to be put on injured reserve during the playoffs this past season. It was said that Spikes was put on IR because of a knee injury, coupled with being late to a meeting, per ESPN.
"I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report," Spikes said Monday during a radio interview with 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."
"The team's decision to place Brandon on injured reserve was not a mutual decision, nor need it be," Spikes' agent Gary Uberstine said in a statement. "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."
Spikes became a free agent this winter and signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills.
Should the accusations be proven true of false injury reports, New England could be in hot water with the NFL. It certainly would not be the first time the league has to come down on the Patriots for shady practices during the Bill Belichick era. In 2007, the team was fined $250,000 and docked a first round draft pick.
It is uncertain what type of punishment the NFL would choose to levy, but it could be a stiff fine and/or docking of picks once again.