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October 14, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/1 Votes

Surprise! Jackson Activated For Saints

Written by Eric
Eric Horchy


Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Five days ago no one knew what the status of Tanard Jackson was or if he would ever rejoin the Buccaneers. Now not only has he been reinstated, but the veteran safety was activated this afternoon and is eligible to play Sunday against New Orleans.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Friday afternoon that reinstated safety Tanard Jackson will be activated for Sunday's home game against New Orleans.

Jackson returned to the team Tuesday after serving a 56-week suspension stemming from his third violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. The 26-year-old has not logged game reps since being part of the Bucs' 20-7 win at Carolina during Week 2 of last season.

Space was made for Jackson on Thursday evening when rookie RB Allen Bradford was released from the 53-man roster.

News of the activation was not made public prior to head coach Raheem Morris's Friday afternoon informal press conference in the media room of one Buccaneer Place and he did not specifically state how much playing time -- if any at all -- Jackson would receive this Sunday. Whenever that time comes, though, Morris did say he firmly believes his veteran safety with 204 career tackles and eight interceptions over four seasons provides an upgrade to the Tampa Bay defense.

"What gives me the confidence is watching him come off suspension a year ago and kind of go through that same process in my head. Then watching him come back and watch him clearly be the best safety on our team is what gives you the confidence to put him out there. Does he have to ease his way into it? Will he have some mistakes? Probably. Do I want him to make fast, hard mistakes? Yes, that’s kind of what I am interested in and what I want him to do."

As for Jackson, he said during open locker room Friday that he's ready to go if called on, but that determination is not his to make.

"I hope so," Jackson said. "I leave it up to them to make that decision, but I feel good. I am feeling better, especially today after yesterday. So we will leave it up to them, but I [would] like to [and] hope I can play this week."

Free safety Cody Grimm was Jackson's primary replacement last year and to start this season, but a right knee injury ended his year during Week 3's win over Atlanta. Third-stringer Corey Lynch has started at free safety the past two weeks. Tampa Bay has gone a combined 11-8 since Jackson's latest absence and he said he sees slight differences in how the defense is playing currently.

"A lot more aggressive in what we do, but I like it," he said. "I feel like I can fit right into the scheme of things. I like the aggressiveness that we've been displaying the past couple of weeks. It's a credit to the players we got here to be able to do that. I'm just working my way in, getting adjusted to the scheme of what we have been doing around here and learning the playbook and things that I haven't been around to see. Slowly but surely."

Last modified on Friday, 14 October 2011 16:16

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  • avatar

    If T-Jack is that ready then by all means he should be playing. He's supposedly looked really good in practice and even during the lockout he was also looking really good so obviously he's stayed in shape. Now he may be a little rusty at first but I think he'll be back in the swing of things after a couple drives. He definitely improves the attitude as well as the secondary as a whole, I can't wait to see what he does out there on the field.
  • avatar

    Horse, you're crazy if you would rather have Lynch play then Jackson. He's not coming back from injury, he should be in better shape not having played. He's playing safety, not lineman, he's required to run around, that shouldn't be a problem. As far as hitting, and being hit, there's only one way, you just have to go out and do it. Remember, training camp is over, there is no more hitting in practice, only in games.
  • avatar

    surferdudes, there is still 10 games after New Orleans and I disagree that he is ready to play ; maybe a few plays just to get him back into the feel and speed, but not a full participant. Nope we should have kept Bradford for one more week to see what he could do. To activate TJ this fast I believe is risky and shows signs of desperation and sends a sign of lack of confidence to your team.
  • avatar

    Now what do you think about the "desperation" move to activate T-Jack?
  • avatar

    T-Jack rightfully observed the "aggressiveness" of the defense the past couple of games, and they rightfully deserve the observation with last week being the exception. I keep hearing the Colt's mentioned like they are all of a sudden not a good team just because Manning isn't there. Do Freeny and Mathis's pass rushing abilities somehow decline because Manning isn't there....No. Is Reggie Wayne's or Dallas Clark's ability to be their regular every year pro-bowler selves all of a sudden gone just because their qb isn't on the same page with them timing wise....NO. The caliber of talent is still there, but advantage Bucs in the God Father Manning not having been at the helm. But our DB's still covered them regardless for the most part, and That's Saying Something for our man on man talent. The Bucs were spent last last week... straight up...but that's ok because that's not who they are...that's just their first ever MNF game leading to a short week topped off by a cross nation trip...The Buc's have always played for Raheem and I believe they always will...
  • avatar

    If he plays I'm worried about injury too. Look how Chris Johnson has played in Tennesee after no action the entire offseason. That being said Lynch has been playing very poorly and T-Jack at 50% is probably a better player.
  • avatar

    Blount, McCoy, Foster and Grimm all practiced an played throughout the preseason and regular season and still got hurt. Injuries can occur anywhere, anytime and to anyone. I am sure they will limit him if he does play but he needs the experience of live action and the saints will give it to him with their passing attack.. He is a huge huge upgrade over the bums we have back their now- he will instill more confidence in our CBs LBs just knowing he is back there.
  • avatar

    Wow! I am surprised. We are that desperate. Brees will pick us apart and smile at TJ as he burns him over and over. I would have preferred that he wasn't activated until the Europe trip because we have to win one of these two games and the Saints are the less likely that we will beat. I hope I am wrong, but what happens if he pulls a hamstring or turns an ankle? I mean really? Two light practices and he's ready to go full blast? Okay Coach, it was your call. Don't screw this up.
  • avatar

    T-Jack is going to be an upgrade over anything we could field at safety. This guy is a football player. I may not like his off the field antics and I don't believe he's ever going to be reliable for the long haul but as far as trusting his instincts and ability to play, I'd put him on the field in a heartbeat and I know that they aren't putting him out there just to put him out there. If he wasn't in playing shape and if he didn't show in practice that he's ready to go..believe me, he would sit the bench. You don't think they know Brees will be looking to exploit any weakness??? C'mon! They know that T-Jack is a fantastic safety.
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