THURSDAY, 11:49am: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis says Jackson could return this season after having surgery to reattach his pec muscle, Albert Breer of The MMQB tweets.
TUESDAY, 12:15pm: Jackson is seeking a second opinion to find out whether he’ll be out for the season or just placed on IR-DTR with the possibility to return, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
11:45am: Bengals first rounder William Jackson III has suffered a torn pectoral muscle, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). At minimum, Jackson can be expected to miss a few months as a result of the injury.
Jackson, a University of Houston product, turned heads with a 4.37 second 40-yard-dash time at the NFL combine. Jackson not only came with a great deal of promise, but the Bengals were banking on using him as a key cog in their cornerback rotation this year.
Over the last two years at UH, Jackson allowed just 40% of passes thrown his way to be completed. After watching him perform in college and excel at the combine, scouting guru Dave-Te Thomas was high on his potential and cited his aggressiveness as a positive:
Jackson was considered a “lockdown corner” for the Houston Cougars after he appeared in thirteen games and finished second in the American Athletic Conference with ten pass breakups in 2014. He also picked off two passes and tallied 37 tackles. Last season, the All-American led the nation and set a Houston single-season record with 23 pass deflections. He also led the nation in passes defended with 28, finishing 20th with five interceptions. He concluded his career ranked third on the UH career passes broken up chart with 40, despite only playing three seasons.
Some other “good news” numbers include Jackson recording six turnovers and coming up with 22 third-down stops…Jackson is certainly not going to impress you with being a great physical presence on the field, but he does demonstrate excellent speed and jump- ball timing. He is very consistent in being “getting into the face” of a receiver. He opens his hips well when asked to handle switch-offs on deep patterns and moves well in space, but he certainly lacks any sort of punch and physicality when required to deliver press coverage (recorded ten reps in the 225-pound bench press drill). His leaping ability helps him get to most balls though and he always seems to get his hands on the pigskin, even when he isn’t in great position.
As shown on their depth chart, the Bengals are currently slated to start Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones at the cornerback spots with Darqueze Dennard as the third corner. Without Jackson, 2015 fourth-round pick Josh Shaw could see an increased role in the coming year. The Bengals could also look to the open market for CB help.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.