Saints LB Kwon Alexander tore the Achilles' tendon in his right leg in Friday's win over the Vikings. That obviously ends his season, and the late-December timing figures to threaten his start to 2021. The final 2 years remaining on his contract look expensive and cuttable. So we'll see what the offseason holds for this 26-year-old, whom the Saints acquired via trade in November. LB Alex Anzalone replaced Alexander against Minnesota and figures to return to the starting lineup the rest of the way.
The 49ers are trading LB Kwon Alexander to the Saints for LB Kiko Alonso and a conditional 5th-round pick, according to multiple reports. Alexander has missed the past 2 games with a high-ankle sprain but should be back soon. San Francisco HC Kyle Shanahan said originally that the team believed it to be a "minor" sprain. Alexander should join Demario Davis in playing full-time snaps, likely sapping playing time from LB Alex Anzalone. We'll keep an eye on Alexander to see when he'll officially jump into the lineup. A healthy Alexander enhances the upside of the New Orleans team defense. The Niners, meanwhile, can now keep LB Dre Greenlaw in his full-time role alongside Fred Warner. He has seen increased playing time with Alexander out.
The Saints drafted Florida LB Alex Anzalone in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. Anzalone posted uninspiring numbers in college while dealing with multiple shoulder injuries and a broken left arm. He took a medical redshirt as a 2015 junior after his 2nd shoulder injury and then tallied just 53 total tackles in his lone starting season. Anzalone flashed his athleticism in Senior Bowl workouts and at the Combine, however. He ranked 77th percentile in the 40 and 86th percentile in the 3-cone drill at 6'3 and 241 pounds. We'll see how soon Anzalone can get on the field in a LB corps that has been seeking answers for a while.