Just like everyone else in the AFC West this past offseason, the Los Angeles Chargers pushed all of their chips into the middle of the proverbial table with their personnel moves of the last few months. One of the biggest moves was the signing of one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks to a lucrative free agent deal. Unfortunately for the Chargers, however, it seems as if they might have to begin the year without the presence of J.C. Jackson in the secondary.
Jackson rose to prominence as a member of the New England Patriots secondary for the last few years, a span of time in which he exhibited lockdown ability and consistent success at a position where steady play is hard to find. The Chargers saw Jackson’s availability in free agency as a primary way to boost their pass defense given the presence of Patrick Mahomes and others in the division and went for it.
For now, however, the Chargers might have to wait and see what Jackson adds to the rivalry if he’s out for a longer stretch after having ankle surgery. According to reports, he’s out two to four weeks.
The L.A. Chargers have lost cornerback J.C. Jackson for the next few weeks due to ankle surgery, which means he might miss the first game against the Chiefs.
Here’s the conundrum for the Chargers: they play the Kansas City Chiefs for the first Thursday Night Football game of the year. It’s a special primetime night that opens the season for Amazon as a new streaming partner, and it’s already being anticipated as one of the single biggest games of the year. Given that it comes early in the season, it’s definitely within the potential window of Jackson being out. At the very least, he’s going to be working his way back into form.
Still, that’s not to say the Chargers are now without a chance. The truth is that the Bolts have played the Chiefs very closely every year, unlike other rivals in the West, and have plenty of talent to not only make the postseason but dream of a divisional win.
The NFL season is long and the Chargers are doing the right thing to get Jackson in the right shape for when it counts most. However, it might end up costing them a half step to start the season at a critical point against the team they’ve been chasing for years.
Jackson has 25 interceptions over the last four years for the Patriots, including 8 last season.