SUNDAY, 10:11am: It is still uncertain whether Jackson suffered a complete tear of his ACL, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio (via Twitter). He will have another MRI shortly, and Cecil Shorts will get the nod in Jackson’s absence.
TUESDAY, 4:14pm: In what could be a significant blow to their offense, the Buccaneers have placed wide receiver Vincent Jackson on injured reserve with a knee issue. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times was among those to report that Jackson has a torn ACL, though ESPN’s Ed Werder suggests that it could be an MCL injury (Twitter links).
Jackson played through the injury in the Buccaneers’ Week 5 win over the Panthers and later realized it didn’t feel right, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The 33-year-old hauled in three catches for 36 yards against Carolina, giving him 15 receptions and 173 yards on 31 targets this season.
This could be the second straight year in which a knee ailment has ended Jackson’s season early. He missed six games in 2015 and landed on IR in December with a sprained MCL. Prior to last year, Jackson had gone four straight years without missing a game. The two-time Pro Bowler has been highly productive in his 12 combined seasons with the Chargers and Bucs, but it’s possible he’ll never put on Tampa Bay’s uniform again.
Jackson will be a free agent at season’s end, and even before his injury, second-year receiver Adam Humphries had begun taking targets from him. Still, Jackson had started in each of the Buccaneers’ first five games, and his loss will give quarterback Jameis Winston one fewer viable target. Aside from Humphries and No. 1 option Mike Evans, the Bucs aren’t flush with options at wideout, though Louis Murphy is nearing a return from the torn ACL he suffered last October.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.