Once again Tanard Jackson has made a decision which will cost him a chance to play football. The NFL announced yesterday that Jackson had again violated the league’s substance abuse policy and would be suspended indefinitely for his most recent failed test. Jackson had already missed four games at the beginning of last season and now won’t be eligible for reinstatement by the league until September 22, 2011. So after two games and 13 tackles, Tanard Jackson’s season is done and the Bucs find themselves looking for a safety.
Typically this is the death knell for a player’s career. I can’t think of too many cases where a player successfully returned from a year-long suspension. One actually, and he ran for nearly 1,200 yards for the Miami Dolphins last season. Unfortunately for Tanard Jackson he has no where near the Heisman level ability of Ricky Williams. More aptly, do you remember Onterrio Smith? If you don’t then you’ve just proved my point, but he was the oft-troubled running back out of Oregon who failed several drug tests (most famously at one point attempting to utilize a whizinator) and then ran off into obscurity. Most recently I had heard he was attempting to make it in the CFL.
Obviously drug abuse is a serious problem and we hope that Tanard Jackson gets the help he needs and is able to return to football. It’s just going to be an uphill battle for the young man because in this sort of situation, in the NFL, the deck is stacked against him.