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Fletcher likely to fill in for Pats LB Spikes

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January 7, 2014 (AP) – The mantra of the New England Patriots when a player gets sidelined is “next man up.”

This week, that next man will be backup linebacker Dane Fletcher.

With Brandon Spikes joining three key defenders on injured reserve with a knee injury, Fletcher is likely to see a lot more action when the Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC divisional playoff game Saturday night.

Spikes was put on injured reserve on Monday. That left the Patriots (12-4) with six linebackers, including rookie free agent Ja’Gared Davis, who has been signed off the practice squad. Two others have played very little on defense. Rookie Steve Beauharnais has one tackle in two games and Chris White has one defensive tackle while being used mostly on special teams.


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