Week 3 of the preseason is in the books and the regular season is just over a week away. Having said that, let’s dive into a few linebacker injury situations that have occurred during training camp and the preseason. The regular season can’t get here soon enough…..
Jarrad Davis – LB – Detroit Lions
Fake Pigskin Exclusive: Join Monkey Knife Fight and Get an Instant 100% Deposit Match PLUS a Free $5 Game!
The Detroit Lions defense suffered a big scare in week three of the preseason. On the second play from scrimmage, starting middle linebacker, Jarrad Davis, went down with an apparent right leg injury and was carted off the field. Initially, the injury looked severe, as Davis was unable to put any weight on his right leg. The injury has since been labeled a high ankle sprain, to the relief of the team and fans. There is no current timetable for his return, but Davis will miss time early on in the season. Davis has been the man in the middle for the Lions defense the last two seasons, and last year collected 100 total tackles (10 for loss) and six sacks.
Potential Replacement: Replacing Davis is second round pick, Jahlani Tavai, out of Hawaii. He is a hard hitter with good instincts. In an injury shortened senior season, Tavai totaled 82 tackles (5.5 for loss), and two sacks in just eight games. He is a must grab if he is on the waiver wire and a great late round pick in upcoming IDP drafts. Tavai has the size and toughness that head coach, Matt Patricia, covets in his linebackers and I expect him to excel with his new opportunity.
Todd Davis – LB – Denver Broncos
It only took one day of training camp and the Denver defense suffered a significant blow. Veteran leader and starting middle linebacker, Todd Davis, went down with a partially torn calf muscle. Davis led the Denver defense with a career high 114 total tackles last season and logged 842 defensive snaps. To say he would be missed is a severe understatement. The team is still unsure of Davis’ status for Week 1 of the regular season.
Potential Replacements: Second year man, Alexander Johnson, has the inside track on the vacant starting spot if Davis were to miss time. He has impressed during the preseason and has amassed a team high, 18 tackles. Undrafted rookie, Josh Watson, has also been getting extended reps in practice and preseason games. Johnson is the LB to grab in deeper leagues for teams looking for a fill-in or Davis insurance.
Micah Kiser – LB – Los Angeles Rams
Mark Barron left via free agency this off-season. Thus, leaving an open starting linebacker spot next to rising star Corey Littleton in the Rams 3-4 scheme. Second year man, Micah Kiser, was projected as the man to fill that open spot. Unfortunately, Kiser suffered a pectoral injury in the Rams second preseason game and underwent surgery last week. The injury has been dubbed as “significant” and no timetable for his return is available.
Potential Replacements: Fifth year man, Bryce Hager,will get the first shot at the spot next to Littleton. While Hager isn’t flashy, he brings size and sure tackling to the Rams defense that needs help at linebacker. Another name I’m watching is seventh round rookie, Dakota Allen. Allen is an athletic linebacker who could push for snaps as he adjusts to the pro game. Hager is worth an add in deeper leagues and Allen is just a name to keep in your pocket for later.