Two weeks before his comeback attempt was supposed to begin in earnest, Redskins safety Tanard Jackson has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL—again.
Jackson’s latest suspension is for violating the “NFL policy and program for substances of abuse,” according to a release distributed by team late Wednesday afternoon. The 28-year-old Silver Spring native’s ban begins immediately.
Jackson had been reinstated in May following a two-season suspension for repeated violations of the league’s drug policy. After initially being released by the Redskins, the team re-signed the veteran safety a day later in the hopes he could rediscover his form and challenge for a spot as a reserve on the 53-man roster.
Jackson had participated in OTAs and minicamp and, by most accounts, did not look like a player who been sidelined since the final game of the 2011 season. Still, there were no guarantees. He often worked with the third stringers behind Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo.
Now, Jackson’s football future is in doubt. And given the number of transgressions on his resume, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which he’s reinstated soon, if ever.
Even Redskins head coach Jay Gruden seemed to indicate that Jackson was on his final chance when he said in late May, "This is probably his last go around. So he’s going to make the most of it. I’m sure he’s a good person, a good player and hopefully he’ll learn from his mistakes off the field and perform at a high level like we know he’s capable of."
Jackson, for his part, had been saying all the right things.
Earlier this week, in fact, the former Buccaneer was quoted in The Tampa Bay Tribune as saying, “Going from playing football to working in a warehouse at a 9-to-5 job is a humbling experience. It’s taught me to never take anything in this business for granted.”