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Kwon Alexander to begin serving 4-game PED ban

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will lose playmaking rookie linebacker Kwon Alexander for the final four games of the regular season.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Alexander will drop the appeal of his four-game ban for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances and begin serving the suspension, per a source informed of the player's thinking.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported the news.

Alexander has been a bright spot in Lovie Smith's resurgent defense this season, leading the Bucs in solo tackles (59). The fourth-round rookie out of LSU has a combined 93 tackles with three sacks, two forced fumbles, two interception and nine passes defensed. Alexander won the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award in Week 8 after earning 11 tackles, an interception and a strip of Julio Jones in a win over the Falcons -- a game he played less than 48-hours after learning of the death of his brother.

The Buccaneers, at 6-6, sit in the thick of the playoff hunt. If Tampa sneaks into the postseason, Alexander would be eligible to return. If Tampa misses out, his rookie season is over.

The Bucs close out the season against the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. It's a cushy slate for Jameis Winston and company, especially if the Panthers have nothing to play for in Week 17.

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