The Buccaneers have been dealt a major blow with news that FS Tanard Jackson will be suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Jackson’s suspension begins immediately. He is eligible for reinstatement beginning on Sept. 22, 2011. Jackson was suspended for the first four games of the 2009 season — also for violating the substance-abuse policy.
“Tanard is a talented young man whom we hope is able to use this year to put his troubles behind him and ultimately return a stronger man and player,” Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik said in a statement. “It’s up to Tanard whether the team and our fans eventually realize his considerable promise.”
The Bucs now are thrown into a tough situation, faced with the prospect of replacing Jackson with either Sabby Piscitelli or rookie Cody Grimm. But Piscitelli is best as a box safety and Grimm is primarily a special-teams player.
The way we see it
This is a surprise considering that people in and around the organization thought Jackson was committed to staying away from whatever drug it was that led to his suspension last season. He’s considered one of the better safeties in the division, so this is a major loss to a young defense that looked pretty good in the first two games.
Jackson is very good in coverage and made five picks in 12 games last season. One other solution would be to move Sean Jones to free safety and play Piscitelli at strong.