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Monday, September 23, 2013
Cards lose OLBs Acho, Alexander for year

By Josh Weinfuss

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Arizona Cardinals lost their two starting outside linebackers in Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Monday Lorenzo Alexander and Sam Acho will be placed on season-ending injured reserved. Alexander suffered a Lisfranc injury in his right foot and Acho broke his left fibula.

“Obviously, they’re core people. Their energy will be missed as much as their play,” Arians said. “They’re both high-energy guys and that part of it as a football team will be hard to replace but somebody is going to have an opportunity to step up and do it.”

Who, though, is the question of the day. Arians said the Cardinals will begin addressing the roster voids left by Acho and Alexander later this week.

One option is Alex Okafor, replaced Acho, and played five snaps. Okafor, a rookie from Texas, saw his first action of the season this weekend because fellow rookie Kevin Minter was out with a hamstring injury.

“[He] did fairly well,” Arians said. “[The Saints] did take a long run around his end when he was misaligned one time. But with a full week’s practice, I think he should be fine.”

Behind Alexander on the depth chart is Matt Shaughnessy, who’s often a down lineman, and John Abraham, a pass-rush specialist. Options are limited for a three-down linebacker.

The Cardinals have an internal option besides Shaughnessy and Abraham. Dontay Moch is an outside linebacker on the practice squad and has caught Arians’ attention.

“He’s one of the guys we’ll consider strongly,” Arians said. “He’s done a nice job since he’s been on the practice squad.”

Another potential stopgap could be practice squad linebacker Kenny Rowe, who played defensive end at the University of Oregon.