Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said Jamaal Westerman has supplanted Garrett McIntyre as the starting outside linebacker in the base defense. McIntyre had started the past three games. Westerman started against the Dolphins in October.
Westerman's tackle for a loss and sack probably got him the job back. It also helped that neither Josh Mauga nor Garrett McIntyre did much to distinguish himself. There were rumblings Westerman lost his starting job in the first place because the coaches did not like how he was setting the edge in the run game. None of his replacements did that well. Jamaal is at least a better pass rusher.
He is playing right now for a bigger role with the team next season. Bryan Thomas, the real starter, is a free agent. At his age and coming off a serious injury, he might be gone to open up a slot for Westerman if he can take advantage. He did not the first time he started. Now he has a second opportunity.