Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander was all over the field on Sunday in Atlanta. He racked up 11 tackles, intercepted a pass and even forced and recovered a fumble. The game was the best of the rookie's career and good enough to earn a game ball. A game ball he dedicated to his 17-year-old brother Broderick who died on Friday.
"It's been hard, man, losing my little brother," Alexander said after the game, via the Buccaneers. "I know he would want me to be strong for him so I came out here and dedicated this game to him. I'm just ready to be back with my family."
Alexander's brother was shot and killed during a fight on Friday, according to The Anniston Star. Police have arrested a man and charged him with murder.
Alexander said he did consider not playing after learning of his brother's death, but instead said he played because that is what his brother would want him to do.
"He would want me to be strong. I know he's looking up there and he's happy and he's smiling. I just did it all for him."
After the game, Alexander said he thought of his brother on every play. Team captain Logan Mankins presented Alexander with a game ball in an emotional locker room. He also paid another tribute to his brother on Twitter.
Alexander played a crucial role for the Bucs. He led the team in tackles and the 11 were a career-high. Although Julio Jones had a huge game for the Falcons, Alexander made a key play against him, chasing him down and snatching the ball from his arm. He intercepted one Matt Ryan pass and would have had a second interception had it not been called back due to a penalty.
"He wouldn't ever give up. I'm never going to give up. It was all for him."