BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots placed Brandon Spikes on injured reserve on Monday, ending the linebacker’s season just days before the team will host its playoff opener at Gillette Stadium.

Spikes, 26, finished third on the team in tackles this season, his fourth after being drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft. He recorded 134 total tackles, according to the Patriots.

Spikes had been battling a knee injury for more than two months, as The Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young reported in late December that the injury would require surgery once the season ended. Spikes then aggravated the injury in the regular-season finale against the Bills.

“It’s pretty banged up, but this deep in the season, everybody’s banged up,” Spikes told Manza Young prior to that game. “I’ve been able to deal with the pain and stuff like that.”

Spikes becomes the fifth key Patriots player to land on injured reserve this season, joining fellow linebacker Jerod Mayo, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and tackle Sebastian Vollmer.

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