The Pittsburgh Steelers snagged a huge win over the Green Bay Packers, 23-19, on Sunday but lost linebacker Kwon Alexander for the rest of the season, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter. The former LSU Tiger suffered a torn Achilles in the Week 10 matchup, following several of the league’s stars this season, including Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers and J.K. Dobbins.
Alexander entered the game fifth on the Steelers with 41 tackles (32 solo), five tackles for loss, one interception and one forced fumble. After the final whistle, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that the linebacker suffered a “serious” lower-body injury and that it didn’t look “promising.”
Alexander headed immediately to the locker room after coming out of the blue medical tent. The Steelers then ruled him questionable to return. Mark Robinson, a core special teamer, replaced Alexander at inside linebacker.
Steelers lose another linebacker
The Steelers entered Sunday’s contest thin at the position after Cole Holcomb suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 20-16 Week 9 victory over the Tennessee Titans (3-5) last Thursday.
Pittsburgh made several moves leading into Week 10. First, after Holcomb suffered the knee injury in the Steelers’ win over the Titans, the team opted to place the linebacker on Injured Reserve.
He spent the night at a local hospital due to his injury, but was discharged Friday. Now, he’ll spend at least four weeks on IR before he’s eligible to make a return. Holcomb had 54 tackles with six tackles for loss through eight games this season. He also added two forced fumbles.
With an active roster spot open, the Steelers elevated running back Anthony McFarland Jr. from IR. McFarland suffered an injury in Week 1, leading to an early IR move.
The Steelers are already without star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, who missed three straight days of practice this week, has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. He sustained the injury in the 20-10 Week 8 defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2). The three-time All-Pro leads the Steelers with 54 tackles (37 solo).
“We obviously still don’t know how long Mink will be out,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said, via the team’s website. “We all know that he’s the soul and the heartbeat of the secondary. Wish him nothing but the best. But he’s in the meeting room with us each and every day. He’s on the sideline. Communicating with guys, helping guys understand what positions they need to be in. And certain calls, certain concepts to look for.”
“He’s around each and every day helping the guys that are stepping in for his position like me, [Damontae] Kazee and Keanu [Neal].”