After a record-breaking win by the New Orleans Saints, unfortunate news broke following the game per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Saints linebacker Kwon Alexander reportedly tore his achilles and will now miss the remainder of the season.
Saints’ LB Kwon Alexander tore his Achilles tonight and will miss the rest of the season, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 26, 2020
This is a big loss for the Saints who traded to acquire Alexander at the trade deadline from the San Francisco 49ers. The Saints don’t lose out on much relative to the trade, a conditional fifth-round selection and linebacker Kiko Alonso who did not clear physicals to make the team in Santa Clara.
Since joining the Saints, Alexander has had a remarkable effect on the defense.. He’s noticed every single game making plays in the backfield, out in the flats, and even downfield guarding tight ends. He’s added value in coverage as expected, but also as a pass rusher and also as a run stopper. One of the biggest concerns about his play were his over-aggressive tendencies and missed tackling woes. During his time in New Orleans however, he only missed more than one tackle in a game once and only missed six total tackles in a Saints uniform.
The former LSU Tigers linebacker totaled 24 tackles, one QB hit, four passes defended, a fumble forced and two fumble recoveries.
He was an on-field boost of energy every game and had picked up a fast friendship with All-Pro Saints linebacker Demario Davis. The tandem took on just about every single nickel snap on defense, which New Orleans essentially runs as its base defense. He picked up the defense quickly and provided a ton of value with his game.
Now, the Saints will rely on former third-round selection Alex Anzalone will reprise his role as the nickel linebacker. Anzalone has been on the field most weeks as the Saints deploy both he and rookie Zack Baun on either side of Davis in base defense snaps, which the Saints deploy few and far between this season. For Anzalone, this will be a second chance to prove his worth in a contract year.
Currently, Anzalone has 38 combined tackles. Three of which for a loss. The Saints will take on the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte next week to close out the regular season.
Can the Saints produce on defense without Kwon Alexander? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC , “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA and subscribe to my daily Saints podcast, Locked On Saints.