David J. Phillip, Associated Press
Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Jordan Senn (57) reaches in to get the ball lost by Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels (81) in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in Houston.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers linebacker Jordan Senn is playing so well since stepping into the starting lineup, coach Ron Rivera says he's considering making him a full-time starter next season.

That's pretty big news for a guy who's been told throughout his football career he's too small to be an every down linebacker in the NFL.

The 5-foot-11, 224-pound Senn has long been touted for his special teams play.

But since taking over as the Panthers starting weak side linebacker — only after three others ahead of him on the depth chart got hurt — Senn has been impressive. He's coming off his best game, registering 14 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in a 28-13 win over the Texans.

Senn will start Saturday when the Panthers (5-9) host Tampa Bay (4-10).