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Will the Indianapolis Colts’ Defense Suffer Without Tyjuan Hagler?

Published by on November 4, 2009
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Indianapolis Colts

Colts Linebacker Tyjuan Hagler, who has often been injured in the past, has been placed on the IR with a ruptured biceps suffered in last week's game against the San Francisco 49ers. However, the Colt's top-ranked scoring defense, which is allowing just 13 points a game, might not be significantly less productive without Hagler for the rest of the season.

The team's "next man up" philosophy will again be tested, but this time it may be closer to a "first man up" situation. Hagler's replacement, second-year veteran Phillip Wheeler, was actually the starter at strong-side linebacker throughout training camp. Hagler quietly took over the starting job just before the start of the regular season.

Since Wheeler was ahead of Hagler on the depth chart for most of the offseason, Wheeler has plenty of experience playing with the first team defense. He put his experience to good use when Hagler left the 49ers game in the...

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