Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he’s still not sure if those players, both of whom were suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, will even be active Sunday night at Dallas.
Jenkins started 15 games last season and opened camp as the starter until news broke of his suspension. Jackson was slated to be a backup behind Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo.
“We’re still in the evaluation process with those two,” Haslett said. “They’re in pretty good shape based on what we saw in the two practices.”
Haslett said after seeing them in practice Thursday and Friday, he’ll then talk to coach Mike Shanahan about whether to activate them Sunday. They want to see how much they retained of the defense in their absence and make sure they’re in good enough shape to play in a game. It’s hard to imagine both being inactive.
While Jenkins will eventually return to the starting lineup, the future is more uncertain for Jackson, coming off a season in which he recorded 4.5 sacks and four interceptions in replacing the injured Orakpo.
Haslett said when Jackson is active, there will be times he can get all three outside linebackers on the field at the same time. For now? Haslett waits.
“I don’t even know if he’ll dress yet,” Haslett said.