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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
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Jonas Mouton Set for NFL Debut
The start of Jonas Mouton’s NFL career has been a struggle to say the least.
The inside linebacker had a standout career at Michigan, where he amassed 264 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, three sacks, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and seven passes defensed. The Chargers selected him with their second-round pick in the 2011 Draft, but Mouton suffered a serious shoulder injury in training camp and missed the entire season. He rehabbed hard and had a solid preseason in 2012, recording 12 tackles. But with a stable of established veterans ahead of him on the depth chart, he has been inactive for the first 12 weeks of the season.
Now, with Donald Butler most likely out due to a groin injury, Mouton will finally get his chance to play in an NFL game for the first time in nearly two years.
“When you play football you’re whole life and then you can’t play and it takes a while for you to come back, that’s hard,” he said. “You always get a little frustrated. But I’ve been preparing and getting ready for my opportunity. And I feel healthy. I feel pretty good. I’m looking forward to this chance. I’ve been preparing my whole year and it’s here now.”
Mouton credits the veteran leaders at his position like Takeo Spikes and Shaun Phillips for helping him prepare for the NFL life.
“I mean, the way that they approach the game rubs off on you,” he said. “They’ve played the game a long time and have been successful, so you watch what they do. They’ve definitely been a help.”
Head coach Norv Turner has a lot of faith in Mouton to come in and contribute immediately.
“The thing about Jonas is he’s been practicing every day, getting reps and going through meetings,” said Turner. “It’s not like he just showed up. He’s been getting himself ready and he’s anxious and eager and ready to play. I think he can help us at a position we’ve gotten thin at. He’s an instinctive player who can cover a lot of ground and get to the ball.”