After being reinstated by the NFL earlier this week, there were doubts about how quickly Tanard Jackson would be ready for game action. But after appearing in practice yesterday with the Bucs, it sounds as though he could be ready to go as early as this upcoming game against the Saints.
Joining the Bucs for his first practice since his yearlong drug-related ended on Tuesday, Jackson impressed coaches who were eager to see whether he was ready to contribute to the team. Jackson re-joined practice with no limitations, looking fast and quick — just like he used to.
“You have to get through the week (first),” coach Raheem Morris said. “But we know how good a player Tanard is. There’s no secret about that. He’s done a great job getting his body ready to practice and play. It’ll be a decision that’s up to myself and I’ll lean on my guys like (general manager) Mark Dominik to make that decision at the end of the week”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could certainly use all the help they can get on defense. According to the statistics kept by Football Outsiders, the Bucs currently have one of the worst defenses in the NFL; they rank as 19% below average, 30th overall. And that’s not considering the fact that Gerald McCoy is injured and likely to miss at least one week of action.
It’s unclear about how much the Buccaneers would ask Jackson to play against the Saints, but if he’s truly ready to go, it certainly couldn’t hurt their defense to put him out there. We’ll have to wait and see if the Bucs agree.