When the Buccaneers placed Vincent Jackson on IR with a knee injury Oct. 23, there were questions as to whether the wide receiver had suffered a torn ACL. He dodged that fate, according to the Sporting News’ Alex Marvez, but Jackson’s ailment is nonetheless severe enough to prevent him from playing again this year. With that being the case, the Buccaneers will designate running back Charles Sims as the player they bring back from IR, per Marvez. Sims, who also suffered a knee injury last month, will be eligible to return Week 13.
With his season over and his contract set to expire at year’s end, Jackson has perhaps played his final game with the Buccaneers. While Jackson has been highly effective with the Chargers and Bucs during his 13-year career, the three-time Pro Bowler is on the wrong end of the aging curve (34 in January) and has now seen back-to-back seasons end early because of knee injuries. Prior to going down in Week 5 this year, the 6-foot-5, 241-pound Jackson hauled in 15 receptions for 173 yards on 32 targets. During his half-decade in Tampa Bay, Jackson has totaled 268 grabs, 16.1 yards per catch (compared to just 11.5 this season) and 20 touchdowns.
Sims, meanwhile, is part of a backfield that has dealt with an absurd amount of injuries this season. Starter Doug Martin returned last Sunday from a two-plus-month absence on account of hamstring troubles, while backups Sims, Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith have also missed time (Smith’s season is over). As a result, the Buccaneers rank toward the bottom of the NFL in rushing this year after finishing near the top last season with the one-two punch of Martin and Sims. Fortunately for 4-5 Tampa Bay, it appears the duo will factor in down the stretch as the club clings to slim playoff hopes.
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