If you’re a NFL team with a star linebacker who hasn’t suffered a devastating injury yet, put him in bubble wrap until the season starts.
Yet another elite linebacker has gone down with an injury. This time it’s Buffalo’s Kiko Alonso. The team said he suffered what might be a sigificant knee injury. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the team fears it’s a torn ACL.
That’s a major blow to the Bills, and other teams can relate.
The 49ers kicked off the bad linebacker luck when NaVorro Bowman suffered a nasty knee injury near the end of the NFC championship game in January. Since then, Dallas’ Sean Lee blew out his ACL, Atlanta’s Sean Weatherspoon injured his Achilles and Arizona’s Daryl Washington was suspended. Bowman should return sometime this season, but the other three are out for the year. Also, the Giants’ Jon Beason is dealing with a foot injury that could keep him out of the season opener. We’ll see what the diagnosis is for Alonso, but the early report didn’t sound good.
“We have learned tonight that Kiko Alonso injured his knee while working out in Oregon,” Bills GM Doug Whaley said in a statement. “We do not have the details at this point, but early indications are that it may be significant.”
Alonso was one of the most exciting rookies in the NFL last year. He had 159 tackles and four interceptions playing middle linebacker for the Bills, and looked like a future All-Pro at times. He’s a tackling machine and also athletic enough to be one of the top coverage linebackers in the league. Now it looks like he might miss at least a significant portion of the 2014 season, unless the Bills get some positive news after examining him further.
Every other team that hasn’t suffered a major injury to one of its linebackers should feel pretty lucky about now.