Bucs’ Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely, out at least a year

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 4: Safety Tanard Jackson #28 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lines up on defense against the Arizona Cardinals at the Raymond James Stadium  on November 4, 2007 in Tampa, Florida.  The Bucs won 17 - 10. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

The NFL has suspended Bucs’ free safety Tanard Jackson indefinitely for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

From the Tampa Tribune:

Jackson, who was suspended without pay for the first four games of 2009 for violating the same policy, learned of the suspension after Wednesday’s afternoon workout at One Buc Place, Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said.

Specifics of Jackson’s violation were not disclosed, but the suspension began immediately and he cannot apply for re-instatement until July 22, 2011.

“We know that he is suspended for the rest of the year,” Dominik said.

The NFL’s substance abuse policy primarily covers drugs and alcohol, as performance enhancing drugs are covered under a separate policy. The substance abuse policy does not call for a suspension until a player reaches Stage 2 of the league’s intervention program, indicating Jackson failed for the second time to remain in compliance with the terms laid out for him as a Stage 1 offender.

“As much as I would like to comment on it, I’m going through a lot and I can’t talk about it right now,” Jackson told the Tampa Tribune shortly after learning of the suspension. “Maybe at another time.”

Jackson has a load of talent but this is his second suspension in two years and once again the Bucs are left with Sabby Piscitelli at free safety. Piscitelli was almost cut in training camp and if he does wind up back in the starting lineup, expect opposing offenses to consistently attack him in coverage.

This is unfortunate news for the surprising 2-0 Bucs.

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Bucs’ Jackson suspended, Talib arrested

In the course of two days, the Buccaneers’ secondary has taken a significant hit after free safety Tanard Jackson was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and cornerback Aqib Talib was arrested for simple battery and resisting arrest.

Jackson, who was entering his third season, has emerged as one of Tampa’s better young defenders. He started all 32 games for the Bucs over the past two seasons and made defensive calls for the team in the secondary. Given that Will Allen is his replacement, this is a significant blow to the Bucs’ defensive backfield.

Talib showed promise as a rookie last year and was likely going to be promoted to starter this season. But his starting status is now very much in question following his arrest, not to mention he was also punished for striking teammate Torrie Cox in the face with his helmet at the conclusion of a recent practice.

The Bucs lost one of the better defensive minds in football when long-time coordinator Monte Kiffin left the team to coach with his son at the University of Tennessee. Now they have to deal with the loss of Jackson for four games and concern themselves with disciplining Talib.

This isn’t a good sign for a team that is trying to adjust to a new head coach and a new defensive coordinator.

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