When the Philadelphia Eagles traded for Kiko Alonso this offseason, they were hoping the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year runner-up who missed the 2014 regular season with a torn ACL could recover and add some speed to their defense.
Just two weeks into the season, it looks like those plans might have to be put on hold. According to FOX Sports NFL Insider Mike Garafolo, tests Monday revealed that Alonso could be placed on injured reserve and miss the rest of the season.
Following tests today, there's a possibility Eagles LB Kiko Alonso will be lost for the season with a knee injury, sources say.
Alonso had been lining up as one of Philadelphia’s starting inside linebackers, although he did cede some snaps to veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans. In Week 1, Alonso played 49 of the Eagles’ 77 defensive snaps (64 percent) compared to just 28 (37 percent) for Ryans. He also made this spectacular interception to rob Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White of a touchdown in the season opener.
The move for Alonso was one of the biggest in all the NFL this past offseason, and one that many said put Eagles coach Chip Kelly firmly on the hot seat. On March 10, Kelly sent All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo in exchange for Alonso and that questionable knee. Kelly coached Alonso in college at Oregon.
If Alonso is forced to miss the remainder of the 2015 regular season, the Eagles will be left thin at the inside linebacker position. Fellow starter Mychal Kendricks was forced from Week 2 action with a hamstring issue, and he has missed extended time in the past with soft-tissue injuries.
Behind Kendricks, the Eagles have Ryans and rookie Jordan Hicks. Ryans has been slow to regain form coming off of an Achilles injury suffered in November of last year and the rookie Hicks was exposed in coverage by Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar on a 39-yard wheel route during Sunday’s game.
The Eagles are 0-2 and already facing a bevy of questions, though primarily on the offensive side of the ball. If they now have to turn to a veteran coming off a serious injury and an unproven rookie to be starters, things could actually get worse.