Tanard Jackson Suspended For Season

Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for breaching the league’s substance and abuse policy.

The man who picked off 5 passes last year in 12 games will miss the rest of this NFL season and at least two weeks of next year’s season due to the minimum one year ban of the likely failed drug test. And the loss couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Buccaneers considering they are enjoying a rare winning streak heading into this weekend’s match-up against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers opponent.

And NO Jackson likely means NO victory for the underdogs.

Jackson is one of the best defensive backs in the NFL that nobody has ever heard of. As I said before, Jackson had 5 INTs last season in 12 games. The reason why he only played in 12 games was because he was suspended 4 due to breaking the rules for the same offence last off season. A year back Jackson admitted that he had an “off the field problem” and stoically said he would fight past these obstacles and become a great football player.

And heading into training camp this season Jackson was exactly that for Tampa. Several coaches commented on the hard hitting safety saying no other player works as hard and no other player stays as late as Jackson. The man was praised for turning his life around and becoming a leader of the Bucs defense. And after two games Jackson had already piled up 13 tackles and last week helped stop the Carolina Panthers to a collective effort of 120 yards rushing the ball and little success throwing the ball.

Jackson was one of the keys to the Tampa 2.  A hard hitting safety that can rock the ball carrier or a stealthy defensive back ready to swoop in for the pick. He was the constant and the variable to the Buc’s defensive scheme. Much like Palamalu in Pittsburgh or Ed Reed in Baltimore, Jackson quietly played the role of defensive hero for the Bucs during their tough times. And it is truly a shame that Jackson is lost right when things were beginning to click on the defensive side of the ball. And now one of the league’s best unknown players will be replaced by, well, an unknown player as in Corey Lynch, Cody Grimm, or Sabby Piscatelli.

And now Tanard Jackson will finally be known to the world, but as the guy that pulled a Ricky Williams and cost himself a year of successful football because of off of the field stupidity. Jackson is eligible to come back from the NFL suspension on September 23rd of 2011.

But will his off the field problems be behind him?

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