Dane Fletcher LB TB 5 Months

Fletcher will start at middle linebacker Thursday in Atlanta, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Typical starting middle linebacker Mason Foster suffered a dislocated shoulder in Week 2, resulting in an indefinite timetable for his next game action. Meanwhile, Fletcher is filling in in the Buccaneers' No. 1 defense, with four solo tackles and a forced fumble to his name this season.

Dane Fletcher LB TB 12 Months

Buccaneers signed LB Dane Fletcher to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Fletcher, 27, performed spot duty at both inside and outside linebacker in New England, but will likely focus on special teams in Tampa Bay. He recorded eight tackles on kickoff and punt coverage with the Patriots last season.

Dane Fletcher LB TB 12 Months

Free agent LB Dane Fletcher will visit with the Raiders on Sunday.

Fletcher was primarily limited to special teams during his four-year tenure with the Patriots, but is also capable of filling in as a reserve linebacker. In addition to the Raiders, Fletcher has also drawn interest from the Bucs.

Dane Fletcher LB TB Mar 01 '79

Patriots LB Dane Fletcher (knee surgery) is participating in OTAs.

Per reporter Field Yates, Fletcher wasn't showing "any signs of limitations." He missed all of 2012 with a torn ACL. He's returning as a reserve linebacker and special teamer.

Dane Fletcher LB TB Nov 11 '78

Patriots re-signed LB Dane Fletcher to a one-year contract.

Fletcher was set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Patriots finalized a deal before he was able to talk to other teams on March 12. The third-year pro missed the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL, but his recovery is said to be on a "positive course." Fletcher will return as a key reserve and special teams player.

Dane Fletcher LB TB Nov 06 '78

Patriots LB Dane Fletcher (ACL surgery) believes he can be recovered in time to put in a full offseason.

Fletcher tore his ACL while covering the first punt in the first preseason game this past season. The Patriots will begin OTAs in April, and Fletcher will be eight months removed from surgery by then. A restricted free agent this offseason, New England will look to bring him back in a reserve and special teams role.

Dane Fletcher LB TB May 26 '78

Patriots placed LB Dane Fletcher (ACL surgery) on injured reserve, ending his season.

Fletcher went unclaimed after being placed on waivers, and won't count against the 53-man roster. The special teamer was set to open the year as the primary backup to MLB Brandon Spikes.

Dane Fletcher LB TB May 24 '78

Patriots waived/injured LB Dane Fletcher.

Fletcher tore his ACL in Thursday's preseason opener. The special teamer/reserve linebacker was set to serve as MLB Brandon Spikes' primary backup this season. Provided he doesn't get claimed on waivers, Fletcher should be in the mix for a roster spot in 2013, though he will be a restricted free agent.

Dane Fletcher LB TB May 21 '78

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Patriots LB Dane Fletcher sustained a torn left ACL in Thursday's preseason opener.

Fletcher drew the start in the middle with Brandon Spikes sitting out. Following the injury, rookie Dont'a Hightower moved from the strong side to Fletcher's spot. The injury will increase the responsibilities of veteran Bobby Carpenter, who was signed for depth and versatility. Fletcher was expected to be Spikes' primary backup this season.

Dane Fletcher LB TB Jan 17 '78

Patriots LB Dane Fletcher (thumb) is expected to shed his cast in the next few days.

Fletcher was strong in training camp last year and, with Brandon Spikes injured, was the frontrunner to start at middle linebacker. An injury to his right thumb, however, held him under 300 snaps for the season. The 25-year-old will again enter camp as competition for Spikes, but won't hold much Fantasy value unless he unseats the injury-plagued former second-round pick.