Hagler third different starting strongside linebacker for Colts in '07

Updated: October 22, 2007, 11:11 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Tyjuan Hagler will become the third different starting strongside linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts this season when the defending Super Bowl champions face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

Tyjuan Hagler

Hagler

Hagler, in his third year in the NFL, was elevated to the starting role during practices last week. Sixth-year veteran Rocky Boiman was demoted. No reason was given for the switch.

"It's an honor," Hagler said. "And it's a great opportunity for me."

Hagler started two games earlier this season, both at weakside linebacker, when Freddy Keiaho was sidelined by an elbow injury. He has also taken snaps at middle linebacker during practices, but had not seen much work at the strongside position until last week.

For the year, Hagler has 17 tackles, one forced fumble and one pass defensed.

A fifth-round choice in the 2005 draft, Hagler, 25, spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve after surgery to repair a sports hernia. In 2006, he appeared in nine games, all as a special teams player, and recorded 11 tackles on coverage units.

Incumbent starter Rob Morris opened the year as the starting strongside linebacker, but missed time because of an abdominal strain and then suffered a season-ending knee injury in a Sept. 30 victory over Denver.

Boiman had played extensively in Morris' place and started the Oct. 7 game against Tampa Bay before the Colts moved into their bye week. The versatile Boiman, who has 13 career starts, will likely back up on Monday at two linebacker positions and also play on the Colts' special teams units.

Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.