Brandon Spikes downgraded to Questionable against Broncos

We wrote on Friday about how Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes

If Spikes misses this game, that is yet another blow the Patriots defense can't afford. Spikes wouldn't be much help against the pass, but he's been one of the team's best run stuffers. Something he's been called in to duty to do more often since defensive linemen Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly as well as Pro Bowl linebacker Jerod Mayo have all been placed on season ending IR.

Taking care of the pass is first priority when you play a quarterback like Peyton Manning, but if he has even more room to run against the Patriots bottom dwelling run defense, that opens things up for play action and a Patriots fan nightmare.

With Spikes gone, the starting linebackers would likely be sophomore Dont'a Hightower, rookie Jamie Collins and undrafted free-agent Dane Fletcher.

There is no certainty here, but the fact that he's been downgraded is an indicator of a strong chance he'll miss the game.