OCTOBER 24: Staley confirmed the high-priced corner will miss the rest of the season. The second-year Bolts HC said Jackson suffered a patellar tendon rupture. This can be one of the toughest injuries to surmount. Needless to say, it will require significant recovery time. This adds to another brutal season for Chargers injuries. Jackson is signed through the 2026 season on a contract that includes $40MM in guarantees.
OCTOBER 23: The Chargers lost their Week 7 contest to the Seahawks on Sunday, and they may have lost a high-profile defender as well. Cornerback J.C. Jackson, who was carted off the field in an air cast, suffered a dislocated kneecap, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Jackson will have an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the damage, but head coach Brandon Staley called the injury “significant” (Twitter link via James Palmer of the NFL Network).
Jackson signed a massive five-year, $82.5MM contract with the Bolts this offseason, and the early returns have not been promising. The soon-to-be 27-year-old was forced to undergo ankle surgery in August, which kept him out of Los Angeles’ Week 1 victory over the Raiders, and he also missed the club’s Week 3 drubbing against the Jaguars. In the four games he had appeared in before Sunday, he surrendered a 149.3 QB rating on passes thrown in his direction, according to Pro Football Reference. Pro Football Focus was even less friendly, charging him with a 155.3 rating and assigning him a dismal 28.9 coverage grade.
Still, it’s easy enough to chalk those numbers up to small sample size volatility and the learning curve that can be expected when a player is adjusting to a new system. The Chargers authorized the Jackson deal for a reason, and losing him for an extended period of time would be a difficult pill to swallow. That is especially true given that the club is already without star pass rusher Joey Bosa, who was placed on IR last month and who is not expected back until the end of November at the earliest. Even when he does return, it is not believed that he will perform at his usual elite level.
Making matters worse is the fact that Los Angeles also lost WR Mike Williams in the fourth quarter of the Seattle game, with Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com reporting that Williams sustained a right ankle injury. Ironically, fellow receiver Keenan Allen, who had been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 1, finally returned to game action on Sunday. Allen and Williams have yet to finish a game together in 2022.
Meanwhile, LT Rashawn Slater joined Bosa on injured reserve at the end of September, and if he returns at all this year, it will not be until the end of the regular season or the beginning of the playoffs, if the Chargers should qualify. The 4-3 outfit is still in the thick of the postseason picture, but the mounting injuries are obviously cause for alarm. Initial reporting seems to suggest that Williams’ prognosis is not as worrisome as Jackson’s, though we are awaiting confirmation on that front.
In Jackson’s absence, Michael Davis stands to see an increase in snaps. Davis has started the two games that Jackson missed this year, and he started 49 games for the Chargers from 2018-21. Jackson was benched in favor of Davis during halftime of LA’s Week 6 win against the Broncos.