Starting middle linebacker Paul Posluszny suffered a broken hand in the Jaguars 42-39 loss to the Titans last Sunday. Successful Monday surgery leaves Poz unable to play tomorrow, but on track to return to the field next weekend against the Falcons.
In Posluszny's place, second-year linebacker Jordan Tripp will absorb the starting duties. It will be Tripp's first start of his career.
Head coach Gus Bradley spoke earlier in the week about his confidence in Tripp.
"I give him a lot of credit because he knows all three positions," Bradley said, referring to the linebacker core. "In practice prior week's he's been flipping back and forth where this week he's really been able to lock into that (MLB) spot"
Jordan Tripp was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. An untimely ankle injury tanked Tripp's chances of making the final roster, and he was ultimately cut before the end of training camp.
The Jaguars signed Tripp to their practice squad on September 22nd, then promoted him to the active roster on October 10th. Tripp will receive radio transmissions during Sunday's game, placing him in charge of defensive assignments and rotations.
It's a tough task for a second-year player making his first start.
Posluszny has missed only one other game this season -- a game the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took advantage of, tearing open the Jaguars defense for 183 yards on the ground.
Jordan Tripp has totaled 8 tackles in 8 games for the Jaguars this season. Tripp, as well as the talent around him, will have to step up in a big way on Sunday in order for the Jaguars to avoid replicating the Tampa Bay performance.