Alexander was placed on injured reserve Monday, a day after he suffered a hairline fracture of a vertebrae and disk trauma trying to tackle Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Typically, recovery time is 8-to-10 weeks, but the Lions' medical staff was uncomfortable with Alexander trying to rush back -- and for good reason.
After the game, Alexander tried to persuade doctors he didn't need further medical attention -- he was moving his neck and walking around fine -- while they studied his X-ray by light of the locker room with a backboard nearby.
Jerome Stanley, Alexander's agent, said Alexander has not yet decided whether to undergo surgery to correct the problem. A decision on that should be made in the coming weeks, after Alexander receives a second opinion on his treatment options.
More news on the injury front:
Cornerback Travis Fisher said he will seek a second opinion on his knee injury, which he described as a bruised LCL. He did not play against the Vikings.
Right guard Stephen Peterman could return as soon as this week from his broken hand. The issue is whether Peterman, who's missed two games, can wear a small enough cast to keep his index and middle fingers mobile and allow him to clutch and grab with opposing linemen. That should be determined later this week.
Running back Kevin Smith suffered a bruised shoulder in the first quarter against the Vikings, but he said a CAT scan and X-rays were negative and he should play against Houston this week. Smith's big run, a 50-yarder, came late in the second quarter, before the injury swelled up at halftime.
"I went in (in the third quarter) and got a penalty trying to pass block because I was too weak so I had to hold him," SMith said. "So then I was like maybe I need to come out so I don't affect the team, especially when we're trying to get that win and the game's real close. Just had to make that decision. I really wanted to keep playing, but didn't want to hurt the team."