Bucs fear Alexander suffered a torn ACL, may be lost for the season
Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times, published 22 October 2018

With 18 seconds left in the first half Sunday, Kwon Alexander blitzed Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Bucs linebacker took an awkward step and went down in a heap, grabbing his right knee. Alexander will have an MRI Monday, but the Bucs believe he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and will be lost for

the season. It’s a devastating injury for Alexander and the Bucs defense, which already has two starters on injured reserve and played without Gerald McCoy (calf) and Vinny Curry (ankle) in Sunday’s 26-23 overtime win. Worse yet, Alexander’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had been in negotiations for several months on a contract extension but has been unable to reach an agreement. Now Alexander could become a free agent after 2018 still recovering from knee surgery.

At halftime, an emotional Alexander told his teammates not to take anything for granted. “Guys like Kwon mean everything to this team,” quarterback Jameis Winston said. “Also a guy like Kwon, they he’s going to be one of the biggest forces in this team. He said to us before we went out for halftime, you never take anything for granted, and he’s so right. We see the passion that he plays with. We see the heart he puts in that locker room.

“So we’re going to have his back, like we had his back today. That’s the thing about football. … We’re going to miss him, and I know he’s going to make an amazing comeback. That’s just the kind of person he is, and his work ethic has been showing since he came here.”

Alexander was having his best game of the season when the injury occurred. He had eight tackles and a pass defensed in the first half. “Big loss. Huge,” linebacker Lavonte David said. “Humongous loss with me being comfortable playing with him the last four years. It’s going to be different. It’s an unfortunate situation, man, when we came in here, it was tough to deal with, tough to see.”

The Bucs replaced Alexander with Adarius Taylor, who starts at strongside linebacker and now will shift to Alexander’s spot at middle linebacker. Rookie linebacker Jack Cichy also injured his knee in the game. “We’ve got guys in the LB room who have to step up now,” David said. “(Taylor) is a veteran of this football team. That’s why there was really no panic.”

As for the timing of the injury with a contract on the line, David said that only adds to the misery for Alexander. “Yeah, I mean, it’s an unfortunate situation,” David said. “It’s football. The thing that was upcoming, you’ve got to put it in God’s hands.”