What To Do With Chiefs DEs Tyson Jackson And Shaun Smith

KANSAS CITY MO - SEPTEMBER 26: Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs sacks Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium on September 26 2010 in Kansas City Missouri. The Chiefs won 31-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

It would appear that Kansas City Chiefs DE Tyson Jackson will be returning from injury on Oct. 10 when the Chiefs head to Indianapolis to play the Colts. His initial injury was reported as a sprained MCL which usually only keeps players out a couple of weeks.

For Jackson, I'm wondering if his job will be there when he gets back.

DE Shaun Smith has been filling in for him and, frankly, been a more disruptive force than Jackson.

3-4 defensive ends are tough to judge because there's not a great way to statistically analyze them. Tackles and sacks are important but they can do their job even without tackles or sacks.

If my eye test matters (it doesn't), then Smith has been a better performer over two games than Jackson has. He's making more plays in the backfield and generally getting noticed more than Jackson.

So when Jackson returns will his starting job come along with it?

This problem is both good and bad. It's good because you have a guy like Shaun Smith who was expected to play a limited role and is now trying to force himself into the starting job. It's bad because, well, Jackson is the third overall pick and we shouldn't be having this conversation.

Maybe the coaches see something I don't and Jackson returns to the starting lineup. Or maybe Smith takes the job. The Chiefs will have a couple of weeks to decide before they hit Indy.

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