J.C. Jackson ‘Confused’ By Week 3 Healthy Scratch
To everyone’s surprise last week, including his own, star cornerback J.C. Jackson was a healthy scratch Sunday in the Los Angeles Chargers’ Week 3 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
“I don’t know, what else do they expect me to do?” Jackson told NFL.com on Wednesday in the Chargers’ locker room. “I told coach (Brandon Staley) what else do you expect me to do? I’ve been doing everything. I came back from my injury pretty fast. I’ve been putting in extra work after practice, even in meeting rooms. The DBs every Friday we all meet to do extra film and being a good teammate, so I don’t know what it is. I’m still kind of confused and still don’t have answers to why I’m getting treated like this.”
The Chargers were hoping to improve a defense that ranked No. 29 in points allowed, 23rd in yards allowed and 17th in turnovers in 2021. The team signed Jackson, a former Patriot, to a five-year, $82.5 million contract to bolster their secondary. However, Jackson tore his patellar tendon in Week 7 of that year and missed the rest of the season.
Since joining the Chargers, Jackson has recorded just one interception amid injuries and uneven play. For reference, Jackson recorded 25 interceptions in his stellar four-year career with the Patriots.
The Chargers ranked in the middle of the pack in many defensive rankings in 2022. This included yardage, where they were 20th, tied for 21st in points allowed and finished 28th in yards allowed. They were also dead last in yards per attempt allowed (5.4).
Coming into 2023, the defense was ready for a fresh start, but they looked lost in Week 1. Like most of the Chargers defense, Jackson got torched during their 36-34 shootout loss to the Miami Dolphins. Tyreek Hill had 215 yards and two touchdowns and Jaylen Waddle added 78 more.
Head coach Brandon Staley noted Jackson’s performance was “not very good” after the game.
“I know what I can do,” Jackson said. “I know that I can help the team so it kind of frustrates me that I’m not starting and that coach has me sitting out, and I’m one of the best players on the team. I’m one of the best [defensive backs] that we have.”
Staley doesn’t seem to think so, and that’s why he made the decision to bench Jackson ahead of their Week 3 contest. It makes sense, Staley is trying to revive a struggling defense that gave up a 110 passer rating Week 1 and a 123.3 passer rating in Week 2.
Jackson hasn’t looked like the elite corner we believed him to be since coming to California, and he’ll need to improve his play drastically if he wants to remain with the starters.
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