Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs rookie Alexander drops appeal, will miss rest of season

Rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander, forcing Washington’s Matt Jones out of bounds, could return if the Bucs make the playoffs.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander, forcing Washington’s Matt Jones out of bounds, could return if the Bucs make the playoffs.

TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander's impressive rookie season is over unless the Bucs earn a playoff spot.

Alexander dropped his appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and will begin serving immediately.

He would be eligible to participate if the Bucs (6-6) qualify for the postseason. Tampa Bay is a game behind Seattle for the final NFC wild card after Sunday's 23-19 win over Atlanta.

Alexander was informed by the league of the positive test several weeks ago, and after a 45-17 win at Philadelphia, he took responsibility for not checking with team trainers before taking an "energy drink" that he said he has consumed 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 is second on the team with 93 tackles. He also has recorded three sacks and two interceptions.

The Bucs will replace Alexander with LBs Danny Lansanah or Bruce Carter, who missed Sunday's game with a concussion, or a combination of both.

"We have Bruce Carter, we have Danny Lansanah, our two players right now that have both played that position," said coach Lovie Smith, still not commenting on the suspension until the league officially notifies the team the appeal has been dropped. "We try to have a backup plan for every position on our team if injury or whatever causes a player not to be able to play."

ON THE MEND: Tampa Bay already is short-handed on defense. Against the Falcons, the Bucs were without all four of the defensive linemen who started the season. DT Gerald McCoy (hand), DE Jacquies Smith (hamstring) and DE George Johnson (calf) all missed Sunday's game. DT Clinton McDonald is on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle.

CB Jude Adjei-Barimah left the game with an elbow injury, and though it's not expected to be a long-term absence, Smith said former starter Johnthan Banks filled in well while getting most of the snaps after the injury.

"He did a good job," Smith said. "(Sunday), boom, a change where Jude went down and we needed (Banks) to step up, and he jumped right in there like you would expect him to do."

HONORED: Pro Football Hall of Fame LB Derrick Brooks was honored Monday at Booker T. Washington High in Pensacola in front of a crowd of 1,200 students and staff as part of the Hall's "Hometown Hall of Famer" campaign.

"You guys need to understand that my time here at Booker T. Washington taught me how to be great," Brooks told the students, according to a Hall release.

THIS AND THAT: The Bucs gave rookie WR Donteea Dye a look on kickoff returns Sunday, and he gained 18 yards on his lone return, but Smith reiterated that Bobby Rainey "is our returner." … WR Mike Evans picked up his fourth offensive pass interference penalty Sunday. Only one player in the NFL has been flagged for that more often: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, six times. … Sunday's game had an announced attendance of 58,221, but the actual attendance, per the Tampa Sports Authority, was 49,760, which is third-lowest of the six actual attendances this season.

Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Bucs rookie Alexander drops appeal, will miss rest of season 12/07/15 [Last modified: Monday, December 7, 2015 8:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Erasmo Ramirez is not happy about moving back to the bullpen, and can you blame him? But that's the best move for the Rays now. He can fill several roles: long man, setup man, even closer in a pinch. The Rays need to settle the bullpen, and Ramirez has proven he's capable of doing that.

  2. Rays up next: at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Today: Off

    Up next: at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

  3. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) scores in the eighth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  4. Lightning reach out to UFA Kevin Shattenkirk

    Blogs

    Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blueline and adding another wing or two.

  5. Lightning announce development camp schedule

    Blogs

    Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev headlines a roster of top Lightning prospects that will attend this week's development camp at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.