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Packers put Barrington on injured reserve

Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) rushes the ball past Green Bay Packers inside linebacker Sam Barrington (58) during a preseason game at Heinz Field. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

The Green Bay Packers lost an important component of their defense when starting inside linebacker Sam Barrington was placed on injured reserve Tuesday because of an ankle injury.

Barrington was listed as questionable for Sunday’s opener against Chicago because of an ankle injury sustained in the preseason. He started the game but left in the second quarter after apparently aggravating the ankle problem. Barrington left the stadium after the game on crutches and wearing a walking boot.

That injury ended his season, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Putting Barrington on injured reserve enabled the Packers to activate defensive end Datone Jones, who served a one-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Barrington first hurt his ankle on Sept. 1. He returned to practice on Sept. 9, but was limited during practice throughout the week.

Barrington became a starter late last season and remained a starter through the playoffs and into this year’s opener. He called the defensive signals in the huddle.

Nate Palmer replaced Barrington when Barrington left the game on Sunday and probably will get this starting assignment in this weekend’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Packers have been using Clay Matthews as both an inside and outside linebacker, but this injury might force him inside almost exclusively.