J.C. Jackson is the biggest free agent that the LA Chargers signed in a busy offseason that saw the defensive side of the ball completely get rebuilt.
Unfortunately, Chargers fans are going to have to be patient in seeing Jackson don the powder blue for the first time in a game. After being a surprise no-show at Chargers practice on Monday, it was announced on Tuesday that Jackson would undergo ankle surgery and would miss 2-4 weeks as a result.
According to Lindsey Thiry of ESPN, the surgery was non-invasive and was meant to fix something that Jackson was born with, All in all the injury seems pretty minor based on what has been communicated about the surgery itself.
Week 1 of the 2022 season is just under three weeks away and based on this timeline it seems possible that Jackson could play Week 1 against the Raiders. If not Week 1, the hope is that he can at least return the following Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, knowing how cautious the Chargers have been with injuries under Brandon Staley, there is a world in which Jackson does not even return to practice until prior to Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. And by then, Jackson may need more time to get up to speed.
This J.C. Jackson injury could be a massive deal for the Chargers' entire season.
While Jackson's recovery time is projected to be short, the games that he is missing are absolutely a big deal. Not only are the Chargers' first two weeks tough but they are divisional games, which can make a world of difference.
The AFC West is going to be extremely competitive and as we literally just saw last season, every single game matters. The Chargers' season came down to the final week against the Raiders and while there is plenty of time to rebound from early-season loses, they do all count the same.
On paper the Chargers are still the more talented team in Week 1 as the Bolts' offense should be able to put up a lot of points against that Raiders' defense. The Chiefs are an interesting situation as they no longer have Tyreek Hill but they obviously have to be respected.
Starting 2-0 on the year with two AFC West wins would have been absolutely massive for the Bolts Starting 2-0 seems far less likely if Jackson misses both games, which instantly puts the Chargers in a situation where they have to fight from behind.
And this is assuming that the injury is as minor as the team has said it is. The timing and communication about the injury have been very odd and it would not be unheard of if it ends up being a bigger deal than fans initially thought.