Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso tore his ACL while training on his own in Oregon and faces the possibility of sitting out the entire 2014 NFL season.
Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso tore his ACL while training on his own in Oregon.
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The Bills issued a statement from general manager Doug Whaley on Alonso's injury on their official website on July 1:
"Bills GM Doug Whaley released the following statement on Tuesday:
"'We have learned tonight that Kiko Alonso injured his knee while working out in Oregon. We do not have the details at this point, but early indications are that it may be significant.'
"Alonso was an NFL defensive rookie of the year contender last season after being drafted (by) Buffalo in the second round out of Oregon. He led Buffalo with 159 tackles, two fumble recoveries and tied for the team with four interceptions while barely missing a snap in playing all 16 games.
"Alonso had hip surgery this offseason, which limited him in participating in spring practices.
"After playing in the middle last season, Alonso was moving to the outside linebacker spot as part of the Bills' shift to a 4-3 defensive scheme under new coordinator Jim Schwartz."
ESPN's Mike Rodak confirms Alonso tore his ACL, citing his colleague, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter:
"Less than an hour later came confirmation, from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, of Bills' fans fears: Alonso had torn his ACL and is expected to miss the upcoming season.
"At a time when those around the NFL are relaxing on beaches and boats, the stunning developments with Alonso have taken the wind out of the Bills' sails.
"This is a crushing blow just more than two weeks before training camp begins.
"Alonso was part of a defensive resurgence last season under former coordinator Mike Pettine, playing every defensive snap. The team moved him to weak-side linebacker this offseason, and its hope was that Alonso would take another step forward, helping to improve the Bills' run defense as a run-and-hit 'backer.
"At this point, you can rip up those plans and toss them in the trash, at least for this season. The Bills are back to the drawing board at linebacker.
"Luckily for them, the team made two low-cost, high-upside signings this offseason, bringing in Keith Rivers and Brandon Spikes. That shored up what was, aside from Alonso, a weaker point in their defense last season."
The Buffalo News' Tim Graham adds more details about the development:
"Alonso's agent, Steve Caric, declined to comment.
"Alonso underwent hip surgery this offseason, but the Bills expected him to be fully ready for training camp later this month at St. John Fisher College.
"Alonso was a Defensive Rookie of the Year runner-up last season and was named Defensive Rookie of the Month for September. He played middle linebacker, but the Bills thought he would be even more productive by moving him to weak-side linebacker this year.
"Alonso finished third in the NFL with 159 tackles, including a league-high 72 assists.
"He recorded 10 tackles for losses, two sacks, four interceptions, five pass breakups, a forced fumble and two recoveries.
"Players voted Alonso 84th on the the NFL Network's 'The Top 100 Players of 2014' series.
"Analytics site ProFootballFocus.com rated Alonso the NFL's 10th-best linebacker last season."
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