Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone officially OUT Sunday against the Saints

As expected, and after he did not travel with the team, Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone is officially out for Sunday's game against the Saints.

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After missing practice all week due to a hand injury suffered late on Thanksgiving against the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone was optimistically listed as doubtful for Week 13 against the New Orleans Saints.

If felt fairly certain Anzalone would be a Saturday downgrade when the Lions prepared to leave for New Orleans. Indeed, per the team's announcement Saturday afternoon, Anzalone will not travel with the team and he is now officially out for Sunday's game.

Anzalone also welcomed his second child this past week, so without the injury to take him off the field it's unclear if he would have played on Sunday against his former team.

Anzalone is having the best season of his career, with a team-leading 87 total tackles, five tackles for loss and five pass breakups along with an already career-high three sacks and nine quarterback hits. So he will be missed, but defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has faith in rookie Jack Campbell as the new "green dot" guy. Derrick Barnes has played pretty well this season. Malcolm Rodriguez is also in line for a larger role against the Saints.

Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone out vs. Saints

On Friday, via MLive, linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard talked about Anzalone's likely absence and the faith he has in the rest of the position room.

"I’m not going to sleight this like we didn’t lose anything,” Sheppard said. “But like I told the room, we should take a step up. That’s just the way I’m wired, the way I’m built, and to have Alex say, ‘Oh wait, I got to get back, those guys ...’ and that’s when you create that environment where everyone is (raising each other up), versus everyone sitting back and saying, ‘I hope we get through this...’ No, no, no, no. We’re going to raise the pressure on Alex. You better hurry back, because these guys are about to ball.”

Last Monday, head coach Dan Campbell hinted Anzalone will miss "a little bit" of time with his injury. His status for Week 14 at Chicago is naturally up in the air, but the Lions have linebacker depth like they've not had in the recent past this year to cover his absence.

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