(Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After being absent for the first day of joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday , New England Patriots starting middle linebacker Brandon Spikes was present for the start of the workouts on Wednesday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. The reason why he was absent on Tuesday is unknown and as a result of his absence, Jamie Collins was put on the strong side while Dont’a Hightower moved to the middle and Jerod Mayo was shifted to the weak side. Spikes recorded 57 total tackles in 15 games in the regular season last year, while recording 10 total tackles in New England’s two postseason games. His biggest game of the season came against the New York Jets on October 21, as he notched eight tackles and a sack in the team’s thrilling 29-26 overtime victory. Before becoming a Patriot, Spikes played four seasons at the University of Florida, winning two national championships in 2006 and 2008.