Sunday brought terrible news for Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander. His 2018 campaign may be over after suffering a knee injury.
Nothing is official yet as the Bucs will send Alexander for an MRI and will confirm the extent of the damage then. If the ACL tore, Alexander would miss the rest of the 2018 season.
Alexander was having his best game of the season. He already racked up seven tackles and was a significant factor in the strong defensive effort through the first half.
On the season, he had 29 total tackles, a sack and a pair of forced fumbles. Alexander also continued his role as the team’s play caller. With linebackers coach Mark Duffner’s promotion to defensive coordinator, his absence could cause some communication problems on defense.
Regarding replacements, the Buccaneers don’t have many options. Jack Cichy took over in Alexander’s absence on Sunday, but then he went down with an injury as well.
With only six linebackers on the roster to open up the Week 7 contest, Tampa sits with four heading into their next game.
Regardless of who replaces Alexander, there is no way the Bucs can replicate his production. Perhaps Kendell Beckwith can return at some point this season, but for now, the only proven linebacker is Lavonte David.
Rapoport also mentioned that he had been in contract talks with Tampa Bay. If a long-term extension was on the table, this was the worst thing that could have happened to him.
It may not force general manager Jason Licht to second guess the contract, but Alexander was due for a massive payday, and this could impact his salary.