Jaguars LB De’Shaan Dixon likely candidate to fill in for K’Lavon Chaisson
NFL teams can’t control a variable as unpredictable as injuries but they can certainly prepare for them. With third-year outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson (meniscus) reportedly headed to Injured Reserve, the Jacksonville Jaguars will need to fill his roster spot, and the most likely candidate to get the nod is rookie De’Shaan Dixon.
Chaisson exited the Jags’ Week 5 loss to the Houston Texans and never returned. The following day, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported he was going to be placed on IR, which would in turn make him miss at least four games.
A first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Chaisson played 28 defensive snaps in the first three games of the season and registered three total tackles. He then missed the Jaguars’ Week 4 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. The team hasn’t made an announcement but it might be a matter of time before they do. Also, head coach Doug Pederson should provide an update when he meets with local media Wednesday.
Chaisson was the subject of trade talks last season and has become an afterthought in Jacksonville’s pass-rush rotation. A dominant edge defender at LSU, Chaisson has registered merely two sacks in 35 NFL games. Already on shaky grounds, this injury could turn out to be a significant setback to the player known as Swiper.
Jaguars rookie De’Shaan Dixon may have to showcase his talent
Of course, someone needs to step up when a player goes down with injuries and in Chaisson’s case, Dixon is an in-house option. So far, he’s suited up for one game this season and coincidentally, it was the one Chaisson missed. Dixon ended up playing just two defensive snaps but he could earn more playing if he makes the most of his chances.
Keep in mind that Dixon isn’t the only option Jacksonville currently has. They could also sign someone off the streets or make a trade. Another possibility is to give linebacker Devin Lloyd more snaps on the edge and plug fellow rookie Chad Muma in the middle.
It’s also worth noting that Chaisson wasn’t getting much playing time anyways, so this isn’t the kind of injury that will have the team’s brass scrambling for a replacement. Josh Allen and Travon Walker are getting the bulk of the snaps at outside linebacker, so Dixon or whoever replaces Chaisson will get a limited workload on Game Day.
Dixon was one of two undrafted rookies (the other was Josh Thompson) that made the Jags’ original 53-man roster this season, and he could become an important part of the defense’s pass-rush rotation if he takes advantage of his opportunity.