The Cleveland Browns placed LB D'Qwell Jackson on the injured reserve Tuesday due to a shoulder injury. Jackson suffered the injury during the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With Jackson being the team's defensive captain and Mangini's highest-coveted played on defense, the loss is a big blow to the defense. In a positive light, it should provide some first-year experience to either David Veikune or Kaluka Maiava. Considering Jackson is in line to be one of our starting middle linebackers for the foreseeable future though, it would've been ideal to have Veikune or Maiava be able to work alongside Jackson. Another option at inside linebacker is Jason Trusnik, who started in place of Wimbley against the Steelers.
Eric Barton now takes on a bigger role, as it would seem to make sense for him to take over some of Jackson's responsibilities. Jackson already had 57 tackles this season.
Assuming Kamerion Wimbley returns from the flu this weekend, this is my guess for the starting linebacker unit that will be on the field against the Green Bay Packers:
David Bowens - Eric Barton - Jason Trusnik - Kamerion Wimbley
I think Maiava will split reps with Trusnik, but I don't think Mangini will throw him into the starting unit just yet, especially with the "respect" he showed to Trusnik last week by starting him over Alex Hall.