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Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tanard Jackson could play Sunday

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Safety Tanard Jackson went through his first full practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday and coach Raheem Morris said it’s possible Jackson could play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Jackson was reinstated Tuesday after serving a suspension of a little over a year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The Bucs have yet to place him on the active roster and have a two-week window to do so. But Morris sounded impressed with what he saw in practice.

“He looked good, he looked great," Morris said. “He came back, he looked healthy. He ran around well. When you have good coaches, a lot of stuff doesn’t leave you and he’s had a couple of good ones. He’ll have the ability to retain a lot of information and get back into the fold. We’re fired up to have him back. Getting him back is like getting a younger brother back for me so it’s awesome.

It may sound a little unrealistic to throw Jackson into action after only a couple days of practice. But my read on this is that it’s a real possibility. Before his suspension, Jackson was the best safety in the NFC South. His replacement, Cody Grimm, already has suffered a season-ending injury and the Bucs have been getting by with Corey Lynch and Larry Asante.

The Bucs know what Jackson can do and their defensive system hasn’t had any major changes while he was out.

“We know how good a player Tanard is,’’ Morris said. “There’s no secret about that. He’s done a great job getting his body ready to practice and play. [We will] make that decision at the end of the week.’’