Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson reinstated

TAMPA — The Bucs decided to blow on the dice and take another roll with safety Tanard Jackson, who is back in the NFL after being suspended for more than a year for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

There are several reasons they believe Jackson — who has violated the league's drug guidelines at least three times and been suspended twice — may be worth another gamble.

Jackson, 26, attempting to salvage a spotty career, recently completed a stint at an undisclosed rehabilitation center as a requirement for reinstatement to the league, which was announced Tuesday. Just as significant is the timing. Starting safety Cody Grimm suffered a season-ending knee injury three weeks ago, and the Bucs play division rival New Orleans twice in the next three games.

Jackson will begin practicing today. The Bucs have up to two weeks to decide whether to activate him to their 53-man roster.

"I'll leave that up to coach (Raheem) Morris and what (Jackson) does on the practice field … over the next, basically, two weeks to see what he can do," general manager Mark Dominik said. "And the moment we feel like he's able to help this football team, he'll be on the field helping us prepare and win games."

Though being reinstated after 56 weeks is no small victory for Jackson, he still has to win over teammates and coaches.

"It's not going to be overnight," he said. "It's not going to be something done in a year. It's going to be always a matter of being accountable to those who supported me through this."

Jackson, who has eight interceptions in 46 career games, became eligible for reinstatement Sept. 22. The lockout played a role in delaying the process, he said.

The Bucs learned Jackson could return Tuesday morning, and the transaction was official at 4 p.m. Two hours later, looking fit and wearing a Bucs hat and a red, long-sleeved T-shirt, Jackson answered a few questions at a news conference at One Bucs Place.

"Good to be back," he said. "Fifty-six weeks. Wow. I'm anxious, very excited and just willing to do whatever it is at this point to help this team."

Jackson was suspended for the first four games of 2009 for a second violation of the substance abuse policy. After playing two games in 2010, he was suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell for another violation.

Jackson, who was not permitted to have any contact with coaches or teammates during most of his suspension, said the isolation was difficult. Because of the lockout, Jackson was able to attend a minicamp organized by quarterback Josh Freeman in Bradenton in June. He said that helped show him how much he missed the game.

"You build a lot of relationships, from your teammates on up," Jackson said. "Being away from those guys and not being able to be in contact with them was difficult."

Dominik said Jackson has earned some trust by completing the rehabilitation program.

"'My level of trust is actually very high." Dominik said. "I had a chance to obviously be around Tanard since we drafted him as an organization back in 2007. … Knowing what he's gone through, now that I've been up to date, as well, of what he's done to get himself to this point, speaks volumes of how important it is for him both personally and professionally."

How soon he is in the lineup depends on how Morris believes he performs over the next four days.

"It's going to be an opportunity to go out there and show that muscle memory hasn't been lost," Dominik said, "and show what he can do to help this football team has to be significant enough for us to want to activate him."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson reinstated 10/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 11:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …