March 10, 2015 was an eventful afternoon for the Philadelphia Eagles. On that day, within a span of two hours, the Eagles sent LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for Kiko Alonso and swapped Nick Foles and draft picks with St. Louis in exchange for Sam Bradford.
This weekend, McCoy comes home to play at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time as a visitor, while Alonso faces the team that drafted him back in 2013. But for the Eagles' linebacker, Sunday's game doesn't provide any extra motivation.
"The fact that I got traded for him really has no relevance at all," Alonso said. "The guy's a great player and we're going to have to be on top of our game and run to the ball and play sound football to stop that guy."
After missing the entire 2014 season as he recovered from knee surgery, Alonso was spending his offseason at home in California when Bills general manager Doug Whaley called him to let him know he'd been traded to Philadelphia.
"Yeah, I was surprised," Alonso said. "That, honestly, is the best way that I can describe it. ... It was the first time I'd ever been traded before. I just wasn't expecting it."
Alonso said this Sunday's game will just be another game on the Eagles' schedule, though he is looking forward to seeing some of his former teammates who welcomed him into the NFL after playing his college ball at the University of Oregon.
"It will be fun because obviously I know those guys," said Alonso. "I'm friends with most of the guys."
Alonso is coming off a game in which he played the most snaps this season. The inside linebacker was on the field in New England for 70 snaps, 16 more than his previous season high which came against Tampa Bay on November 22. There's still some rust to shake off from a knee injury that caused him to miss five games earlier this year, but the linebacker is feeling more comfortable by the day. He's ready to put his best foot forward against his former team.
"I think I did alright," said Alonso of his performance in the win over New England. "Obviously I gave up a touchdown this past week, but that's the way this game goes. You just have to keep grinding and keep getting better."