The New England Patriots were without one of their more promising young players on Monday morning.
Brandon Spikes was absent from the practice, with no reason yet known, according to ESPN.com. It's puzzling considering he isn't suffering from any known injury, but then again it could be just about anything from an illness to a precaution. The Patriots are usually tight-lipped about situations like this.
Spikes was a key contributor last season, posting 47 tackles but taking on a much more important role as the season went on. Coming into 2012, Spikes is expected to be the starting middle linebacker and one of the players to help Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones make the transition from college.
So far, Spikes has had a quiet but productive camp from all accounts, with his only notoriety coming from a scrape on Friday with second-year teammate Nate Solder.
For now, it's expected that Spikes will be back in action shortly.