After 56 weeks, Tanard Jackson is back in the NFL.
Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated the embattled safety to the league on Tuesday. The Buccaneers placed Jackson on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list and will have up to two weeks to activate him to the team’s 53-man roster.
Jackson was suspended indefinitely for his second violation of the league’s substance abuse policy following the Buccaneers’ Week 2 victory at Carolina last season, requiring the team to turn to rookie Cody Grimm at free safety. Jackson was suspended the first four games of 2009 for his first violation.
How soon the team will activate Jackson will depend on how quickly he shows that he is football-ready.
“Tanard has not played football in 56 weeks,” Mark Dominik said. “Hasn’t practiced very much else in terms of real football drills. It’s gonna be an opportunity for him to get back out there and show that muscle memory hasn’t been lost, and that what he can do to help this football has to be significant enough that we want to activate him.”
Despite multiple offenses, Dominik says he has faith in Jackson.
“My level of trust is actually very high. I’ve had the chance to be around Tanard since we drafted him as an organization back in 2007. I feel like knowing what he’s gone through, now that I’ve been up to date as well of what he’s done to get himself to this point speaks volumes to how important it is for him both personally and professionally.”
Although Jackson would not provide details as to his treatment, he did say that he spent time at an undisclosed drug treatment facility.
“Without going into a lot of detail, I was in treatment. I did a stint in treatment that I needed and that also was required for my reinstatement.”
Jackson said he had the opportunity to work out at a gym at the treatment facility. He also said he was able to spend some time at the informal workouts organized by Josh Freeman during the lockout.
Jackson said he’s humbled and proud by how Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik have stood by him and welcomed him back with the team.
“It’s hard to express that in words. This organization has stood by me through a lot. All I can say is I’m proud to have those guys in my corner.”
Jackson said he will be on the practice field on Wednesday as the team begins preparation for the New Orleans Saints.