Safety Tanard Jackson, who was suspended indefinitely by the National Football League last September, has been reinstated and has rejoined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jackson will not immediately count against the Tampa Bay's 53-man roster, though he can begin practicing with the team. The Bucs have up to two weeks to determine whether to activate Jackson to the roster or release him. If Jackson is activated, the team would have to release another player to make room on the roster.
A fourth-round pick out of Syracuse in 2007 (the 106th selection overall), Jackson has played in and started 46 games over four seasons with the Buccaneers, including the first two of 2010 before his suspension was announced. He has recorded 278 tackles, eight interceptions, one sack, 29 passes defensed, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 35 stops on special teams.
Though he played cornerback in college, Jackson was asked to switch to safety after he was drafted by the Buccaneers. He learned the new position swiftly enough to earn the Bucs' starting free safety spot on opening day as a rookie. Jackson started every game over his first two seasons, becoming the first defensive player in franchise history to start his career with 32 consecutive games started.
Though he missed four games in 2009, Jackson turned in his finest season to date, picking off five passes to go with 85 tackles and 10 passes defensed. He returned two of those passes for touchdowns, most notably helping the Buccaneers pull off an upset of the Green Bay Packers on November 8 with a 35-yard interception return for a score.