The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed veteran wide receiver Vincent Jackson on injured reserve due to a knee injury he sustained during the team's Monday Night Football win over the Carolina Panthers on October 10. Jackson experienced discomfort following the game and a subsequent MRI examination revealed an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
"This is obviously very disappointing for me personally," said Jackson. "I had high hopes for this season because I know what we are capable of accomplishing as a team. My top priority going into every season is being out there with my teammates and helping my team any way possible. While I may not be on the field for the foreseeable future, I will be focused on beginning my rehab as soon as possible and finding ways to support my teammates in whatever way I can."
Jackson, in his 12th NFL season and his fifth as a Buccaneer, has started all six games this season and is fourth on the team with 15 receptions for 173 yards. He had two critical catches on the team's game-winning field goal drive on Monday night.
The move leaves the Buccaneers with four wide receivers on the roster, including Cecil Shorts, who has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in the team's Week Two game at Arizona. Shorts returned to practice on Monday. Wide receiver Louis Murphy, who is on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list, also returned to practice on Monday and could be activated at any time during the next three weeks.
The Buccaneers will likely add to their current receiving corps at some point, but they will miss Jackson regardless.
"Any time you lose a player and team leader of Vincent's caliber, it is a setback for your team," said Head Coach Dirk Koetter. "Vincent is a very tough-minded player and a great competitor. Even though he doesn't recall when he injured his knee, he was still out there the entire game and made two crucial catches on our final drive to set up the game-winning field goal. I know that being placed on injured reserve is difficult for him, but I also know he will maintain a strong presence in our locker room and will help our younger guys prepare and develop because that's the type of team-first leader he is."
Jackson, who also played seven years with the San Diego Chargers, represents one of the most successful additions the franchise has ever made via free agency. In the final year of the five-year contract he signed with Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent in 2012, Jackson ranks third in team history with 4,326 yards on 268 receptions. He has scored 20 touchdowns as a Buccaneer and recorded 13 100-yard receiving games. Jackson's 16.1 yards per catch during his five seasons with the Bucs ranks fourth among all players in team history with at least 100 receptions.