The Buffalo Bills went 6-10 last season, but they seemed to be turning things around when they signed former New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes in March and drafted highly touted Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins fourth overall in May.
The optimism in Orchard Park was dealt a crushing blow Tuesday.
Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Bills star linebacker Kiko Alonso tore his ACL during a recent workout in Oregon and is expected to miss the entire season.
The Bills learned of Alonso’s injury on Tuesday but did not yet know its severity.
“We do not have the details at this point, but early indications are that it may be significant,” Bills general manager Doug Whaley said in a statement Tuesday night, via The Associated Press.
Alonso played college football at the University of Oregon and had indicated to the team that he would spend part of his offseason working out in that state.
The 23-year-old linebacker excelled during his rookie season in Buffalo in 2013, finishing third in the NFL with 159 tackles and tied for the team lead with four interceptions while being named the PFWA Defensive Rookie of the Year.
UPDATE (12:07 p.m.): The Bills confirmed Wednesday that Alonso tore the ACL in his left knee and said he’ll “most likely miss the 2014 season.”
“We feel badly for Kiko because he has worked very hard this offseason in preparation for the upcoming season, but we look forward to his return with his style of play that made him one of the league’s outstanding rookies in 2013,” Bills general manager Doug Whaley said in a team-issued statement.
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