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Colts 2016 player preview: Inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on July 26 with their 90-man roster, which will be cut down to 53 players by the end of the preseason.  To pass the time until camp, we're taking a look at every player on the Colts' 90-man roster.  Today, we're looking at inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.

Who is he?

The Colts have just six players who have spent double-digit seasons in the NFL, and one of them is inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.  Entering his eleventh professional season, Jackson spent the first eight seasons of his career with the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns.  He played in 97 games (starting 96) for the Browns, proving to be a very good linebacker for the team.  In 2014, the Colts signed him as a free agent and Jackson has started every game for Indy in the past two seasons, recording 288 tackles, seven sacks, eleven passes defensed, an interception (returned for a touchdown), two forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries.  In 2014, Jackson made his first career Pro Bowl and he has had two very productive years, though his overall effectiveness has been average.

What is his role?

The Colts lost Jerrell Freeman in free agency this year, leaving an opening at inside linebacker alongside D'Qwell Jackson.  That will be the key battle to watch in training camp, but in the back of our minds should be the eventual replacement for Jackson as well.  He will turn 33 less than a month into this season and we have seen in the past two years that the Colts could stand to improve the spot, and with Nate Irving and Sio Moore both expected to compete for the starting spot the loser will be one to watch as a potential replacement down the road for Jackson.  For the time being, however, Jackson is entrenched as the starter for the Colts at inside linebacker and that's not likely to change this year.

What are his chances?

Jackson's role is secure as the team's starting inside linebacker heading into the season.