Friday, October 29, 2010
Expect Vincent Jackson to help Chargers
By Bill Williamson
The Vincent Jackson holdout is officially over and he’s back with the Chargers, for now.
The only reason why Jackson signed his tender Friday is because he needed to accrue a season toward free agency. Jackson’s camp announced last week that he’d report Friday. Jackson will now be set to be an unrestricted free agent in March. Then, Jackson will almost certainly leave as a free agent unless the Chargers give him the franchise tag, which could open a whole new can of worms.
The odds are Jackson is coming back to San Diego to say good-bye. After he serves three games on the roster exempt list, he will be eligible to play in Week 12 at Indianapolis on Nov. 28.
Expect Jackson to become a contributor as soon as he’s eligible to play. San Diego coach Norv Turner loves Jackson and will be thrilled to add him to an offense that is ranked No. 1 in the NFL. There is still room for Jackson, especially in the deep passing game.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, in the past two seasons, Jackson led the NFL with 16 catches for 729 yards on pass plays of 31-plus yards. He was targeted 36 times on passes of 31-plus yards. Quarterback Philip Rivers has a great connection with Jackson, and I think the two will enjoy instant chemistry again.
For the time being, the team and Jackson will play nice.
“I’m happy Vincent is here,” San Diego general manager A.J. Smith said in a statement released by the team. “I have no doubt he will go to work, work hard and quickly get into game-shape. Once he starts playing in games, I don’t think it will take him long for him to be a contributor and help us.”
In the same release, Jackson also appeared ready to move on.
“It feels good to be with my teammates. I’ve missed football more than you can imagine,” Jackson said. “Right now I’m just looking forward to being able to practice and get back on the field. My only concern is doing whatever I can to contribute and help the team win. The future will take care of itself.”
San Diego could use Jackson now. Starting receivers Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee are both doubtful to play Sunday against Tennessee with hamstring injuries. Neither player played last week. Receiver Buster Davis, who is expected to start at receiver along with Patrick Crayton, is questionable with a rib injury. He was limited in practice Friday in his only work of the week.
Tight end Antonio Gates, Rivers' top target, practiced Friday fully for the first time in two weeks because of a toe injury. He played last week and he is expected to play Sunday, even though he is listed as questionable.
Kicker Kris Brown is questionable with an ankle injury. He is replacing Nate Kaeding, who is out for a couple of weeks with a groin issue.