Very few things in the NFL last forever. Vincent Jackson is about to learn that. While playing against the Carolina Panthers, the star wide receiver suffered an ACL injury, as reported by CBS Sports. Jackson has been placed on injured reserved by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s a very good chance that his season is over.
Vincent Jackson is 33-years-old. He’s also in the final year of his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That does not bode well for the Colorado native because there is a very good chance that the Buccaneers will seek out younger options at the wide receiver position.
Though his numbers were not spectacular, Vincent Jackson was valuable to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a bit of a security blanket for Jameis Winston, the young franchise quarterback who is still working on his accuracy. Jackson was also a tremendous locker room presence for the young roster.
Mike Evans is one of the most targeted wide receivers in the NFL. With Vincent Jackson no longer available, Evans will find himself targeted more frequently by Jameis Winston. Evans might enjoy the stats, but it will make it easier for opposing defenses to defend the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Losing Vincent Jackson is going to hurt the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense even more. They were already without Doug Martin and Charles Sims, their two top running backs. The team is going to have to lean even further on Jameis Winston and the passing attack for the time being.
For now, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are planning on using Cecil Shorts more frequently. He will be tasked with trying to replace whatever productivity that Vincent Jackson provided for the team. There’s also a very good chance that the Buccaneers will scour the free agent market to see if there’s a wide receiver that can help.
A potential free agent signing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is Roddy White. The veteran has not played in the NFL since being released by the Atlanta Falcons. The fact that White is familiar with the NFC South should make him that much more appealing to the Buccaneers.
Vincent Jackson is going to do his best to try to stay with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because he considers the area his home now. The 33-year-old wide receiver has a very popular restaurant in the city, and he would rather be close enough to keep an eye on it.
Jameis Winston is the face of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise. He’s the player that NFL fans know about. However, he’s still young. Winston enjoyed having a veteran like Vincent Jackson around because he could lean on his experience and advice. Winston won’t have that on the field this season.
After showing some tremendous potential during his rookie year, Jameis Winston has become a victim of the sophomore slump. The former Florida State Seminoles star has been rather inconsistent thus far this season. Some have placed the blame on the supporting cast that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have surrounded him with.
There are those in the NFL that believe that the playing career of Vincent Jackson could be completely over. Jackson himself has not made a statement on the matter. The belief is that he is going to see if there are teams interested in signing him after he completes his long and arduous rehabilitation.
If this is indeed the end of Vincent Jackson’s career in the NFL, then he can walk away with his head held high. He made it to three Pro Bowl games. Not too bad for a player that was not offered a full scholarship to college.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]