Kwon Alexander on suspension: 'Disappointed in myself'
Lost in the excitement of the Bucs' 45-17 win at the Eagles was news Sunday morning that rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander is facing a four-game suspension for a violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Alexander said he is appealing the suspension and will continue to play until that appeal is heard -- a process that sometimes takes 2-3 weeks -- but said he accepts responsibility for not checking with team trainers before taking an "energy drink" that he's taken since high school.
"It's my fault ... I've never been in any trouble or anything," Alexander said. "It's very disappointing. I'm really disappointed in myself. All they kept saying is if you're about to drink something, ask somebody first. I'm very disappointed in myself and I hold myself accountable. ... If I get suspended, I'm going to come back even stronger."
Alexander, a fourth-round pick from LSU, has started every game at middle linebacker and had played in all but five defensive snaps this season entering Sunday's game. He led the team in tackles with 10 on Sunday and is among the NFL's leading tacklers, also with two interceptions, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht declined to comment before Sunday's game, saying the team hadn't yet been officially notified by the league of his suspension; that's expected Monday. Alexander said he didn't know he was taking any banned substance but should have known better not to check with team trainers.
"I was a surprise to me -- I didn't know what I took or anything," Alexander said. "It was an energy drink. I didn't know. I always took it, like in high school and everything. I've never been any trouble or anything."