The connection between Canada and the Colts linebacker position has been a unique, but successful one this season.
Leading tackler Jerrell Freeman played the last three seasons in the Canadian Football League and has made the transition nearly flawless as the signal caller for the Colts hybrid 3-4 defense.
Outside linebacker Justin Hickman is also coming off three seasons in the CFL and has been a vital component on the Colts special teams, while providing depth on the edge of the Indianapolis defense.
When Hickman went on injured reserve following a leg injury in the Lions game on Sunday, enter another linebacker with ties north of the border.
Jamaal Westerman played his high school football in Ontario and now joins the Colts after four seasons in the NFL.
“I’m just coming in and trying to be a professional, kind of lean on the other guys for things like the playbook and even just finding my way around the locker room and the facility,” Westerman said. “Just come in and be a professional and do what I need to do and what the coaches expect and ask of me.”
If Westerman carries out a similar role to what Hickman provided than he will see ample time on special teams while joining Jerry Hughes as a reserve outside linebacker.
“I think I can go out there and play special teams. I’ve played them before. I can go out and rush the passer,” Westerman said. “I’m getting a little bit familiar with the defense because (there are) some things I’ve done in the past. Wherever they want to put me, just be a professional and execute on Sundays.”
Westerman played five games for the Arizona Cardinals this season after three years with the New York Jets. Last season with the Jets, Westerman played every game (starting three) and racked up 3.5 sacks.
From afar, Westerman is more than intrigued to be joining a team in the middle of a playoff hunt.
“I was definitely impressed by just a very strong team,” Westerman said. “Coach (Pagano) hasn’t been here but guys have pulled together, banded together and it just shows the character and integrity of the guys in the locker room. Sometimes those situations teams do fall apart and get pulled in different directions but it looks like from the outside that these guys really banded together and really pulled each other up and they’re playing for something bigger this year.”
Tags: Jamaal Westerman, Jerrell Freeman, Justin Hickman
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