It was a wild day at Raymond James Stadium and ultimately ended with the Buccaneers pulling out a 26 – 23 win on a dramatic 59-yard field goal. But as good as that feels on a Monday for the Bucs and their fans, the sobering news about the injury for linebacker Kwon Alexander brings everything back down to earth.
Alexander was injured late in the second quarter of the game chasing Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and fell to the ground with a non-contact knee injury.
As the game was ending, this report came from NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport:
Potential bad news for the #Bucs: The concern is that star LB Kwon Alexander suffered a torn ACL, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. He had been in contract talks on a long-term deal. The hope is for good news on the all-important MRI.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 21, 2018
That report was confirmed later Sunday night by ESPN.com Buccaneers reporter, Jenna Laine who spoke with another source about the fears that Alexander’s ACL is torn. And that it will be confirmed by an MRI on Monday. Alexander was seen in a full knee brace walking around the Buccaneers locker room Sunday afternoon after the win.
Coach Dirk Koetter would not elaborate post-game to the media about the seriousness of the injury only to say that “it was emotional” in the Bucs locker room at halftime with the players and Alexander due to his injury.
Alexander was everywhere all over the field making hits in the first half of the game with the Browns. He had seven total tackles and looked like a more assured player playing with more confidence in the Bucs scheme after their firing of defensive coordinator Mike Smith earlier in the week. Tampa Bay elevated popular linebackers coach Mark Duffner to be the defensive play-caller starting Sunday on an interim basis.
Alexander is in the final year of his rookie deal. The former 4th round pick out of LSU was a Pro Bowler a year ago. He had 97 tackles, 70 of which were solo hits in Tampa Bay Rays 2017 season. He is making $1.9 million in the final year of his deal, which is more than double any amount of money that he’s made in the first three years of his contract for being a 4th round pick.
The Bucs have been negotiating with Alexander and his representatives on a long term extension.
Tampa Bay is already thin at linebacker due to other injuries, but they are hoping for good news soon. That’s with the rehab and recovery of fellow former LSU linebacker and teammate of Alexander’s Kendell Beckwith returning to line up. Beckwith has missed the entire preseason and the first six weeks of the regular season after suffering a broken ankle in a car accident last April.
There is no specific timetable yet on Beckwith trying to begin to practice.
If Alexander is in fact done for the year, Beckwith may help Tampa Bay Rays other Pro Bowl linebacker Lavonte David Patrol the middle of the Bucs defense down the stretch of the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers5 days ago
Bucs DB Hargreaves already in Bruce Arians’ doghouse?
Jacksonville Jaguars2 days ago
Jaguars reporter on Telvin Smith: “He’s got problem with them”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers1 week ago
Report- Bucs DE Pierre-Paul decides against neck surgery
Tampa Bay Buccaneers7 days ago
Bucs coach Arians knows rookie class must contribute
Tampa Bay Buccaneers1 week ago
Bucs will be without LB Kendell Beckwith again in 2019
Jacksonville Jaguars6 days ago
Mystery continues around Jaguars Telvin Smith’s status
Florida Gators1 week ago
Off field issues mounting in 2019 for Mullen- Gators
Jacksonville Jaguars1 week ago
Jaguars showed belief in rookie QB Minshew Thursday