Bucs LB Kwon Alexander intends to play vs. Colts after getting 4-game ban

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may soon be without linebacker Kwon Alexander, but the rookie is expected to play against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

The Bucs on Wednesday received notification from the NFL about Alexander's four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. However, Alexander has five business days to appeal the decision, meaning he's expected to play Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The appeal process could take a couple of weeks, but the Bucs face the possibility of not having Alexander for the season's final month.

Last Sunday, Alexander said an energy drink he has taken since high school was the reason for the violation.

"His focus has been great," Bucs coach Lovie Smith said Thursday. "All the things Kwon Alexander has gone through, to continue to play outstanding football ... you can see how, of course, we're concerned, and this is serious. But there's a time for that when you're not on the football field. But his focus, when it needs to be on football, has been that way."

Alexander is second on the team with 73 tackles, and he has two sacks, two interceptions, seven passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Smith said the Bucs have a backup plan if Alexander misses time, but he didn't offer details.

"We have a plan in place," Smith said. "It is Plan B. It's not the ideal one. The ideal plan for us is for Kwon to be out there. But we'll see how that all plays out."