When the Arizona Cardinals signed linebacker Lorenzo Alexander this offseason, the seven-year pro knew that his on-field performance wasn't the only factor.
Alexander's ability to understand defensive schemes and mentor younger players also played a major role — and that's one he'll be around to fill despite being placed on season-ending injured reserve on Monday with a Lisfranc injury.
"A lot of the time, IR guys just kind of disappear and become ghosts," Alexander said. "I told the coaches I'll be in a lot. I know they brought me in for more than just football. My role is to facilitate the learning process for the guys they bring in.
"We have a lot of guys hurt now and a lot of younger guys will be in critical situations. Any way I can speed up their learning curve, I'm gonna be there to do it."
Matt Shaughnessy and John Abraham — who bring 19 years of combined NFL experience — will likely fill the void left at Alexander's weak-side linebacker spot, and the team elevated third-year linebacker Dontay Moch from its practice squad Monday for additional depth.
Alexander said he'll undergo surgery Tuesday, and that Robert Anderson — a North Carolina-based surgeon who's widely recognized as an expert on LIsfranc injuries — will perform the operation. Alexander added that this is the first time suffering a season-ending injury in 17 years of playing organized football.
Alexander said he's also seen defensive lineman Dan Williams go through enough this week — his dad was killed in a car crash while driving to New Orleans for Sunday's game — to remind him that a foot injury is just a minor setback.
"Just because this isn't part of what I thought would happen doesn't mean I should be sad or down," Alexander said. "The situation with Dan and his dad, it puts into perspective that this is temporary."
The Arizona Cardinals Broadcast Department contributed to this report