Former New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes has been hit by a bus.
And we only wish that was a punchline about an encounter with Pittsburgh Steelers Hall-of-Fame running back Jerome Bettis. But there's nothing funny about what happened to Spikes this week.
Spikes, a ferocious hitter during his four-year Patriots career, posted a picture of himself on a stretcher in a neck brace, claiming that he was just hit by an airport bus. He asked Patriots fans to pray for him.
No other information was provided by Spikes, and it is unclear whether he was driving or walking when the accident occurred. His previous social media post hours before the accident showed him sitting in what appears to be a private jet and drinking coffee.
Spikes was drafted by New England in the second round in 2010 after a productive career at Florida that included two National Championships. From 2010-13 he produced a hard-hitting 1-2 linebacker punch with Dont'a Hightower.
Spikes' trademark was sure-handed tackling, but he recorded only two sacks and two interceptions during his career. He made 286 tackles, and his best season was 2012 when he led the team with 92 on a 12-4 team. The Patriots won 51 regular-season games in four years with Spikes, making the Super Bowl once in 2011 before losing to the Giants.
After leaving New England to play with the Buffalo Bills in 2014, Spikes returned to the Patriots in 2016. However, he was released before the season due to a police investigation dealing with an abandoned car belonging to Spikes, which was possibly involved in a hit-and-run incident. Massachusetts State Police cited Spikes on June 12, 2015 for leaving a scene of an accident with injury, driving negligently, and failing to stay within marked lanes.
Spikes played in Buffalo in 2016 before retiring at age 29.
The current Patriots - whose linebackers could use an infusion of Hightower or the old Spikes - open training camp July 27 in Foxboro.