Kiko Alonso is likely lost for the upcoming NFL season after suffering an apparent torn ACL.
Alonso exceeded all expectations during his rookie season with the Buffalo Bills last year, recording a team-high 159 tackles (third-best in the NFL) and tying for the team lead with four interceptions while finishing third in the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
He also recorded 10 tackles for losses, two sacks, five pass breakups, a forced fumble and two recoveries. He had already established himself as one of the best in defending both the run and pass.
Alonso was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Oregon, where he starred for the Ducks. He was working out in Oregon when he suffered the injury.
"We have learned tonight that Kiko Alonso injured his knee while working out in Oregon," Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley said in a statement Tuesday. "We do not have the details at this point, but early indications are that it may be significant."
Alonso is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the injury is a torn ACL, and Alonso will be sidelined a minimum of 7-9 months.
Alonso had already been slowed this offseason after having surgery on a torn labrum in his hip in January.
He had indicated during OTA's and minicamp that he would do most of his rehab work in Oregon.
"It's been nice to get that time off and relax," Alonso told reporters last month before the knee injury. "Now it's time to get back to work. I feel great. I've had a great rehab, and I'm just trying to get stronger."
He was expected to move from middle linebacker to weak-side linebacker this season for the Bills, who will be transitioning to a 4-3 defense.
The Bills will report to training camp on July 18. It is expected the Brandon Spikes, a free-agent acquisition in the offseason, will be the team's starting middle linebacker this season.