Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson avoided an injury designation on the team's final roster, but that doesn't mean he'll be available when Los Angeles opens its 2022 season against the Raiders on Sunday. Two weeks after undergoing ankle surgery, the former Patriots standout is not expected to play in Week 1, according to NFL Media.
Jackson, who landed a five-year, $82.5 million deal this offseason as one of the most lucrative acquisitions of the year, has not practiced with the team since Aug. 18. His operation, which was meant to address lingering discomfort in his ankle, was initially expected to sideline him for anywhere from two to four weeks.
The Chargers did not place Jackson on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, or move him to injured reserve after finalizing their initial 53-man roster, suggesting he would return sooner rather than later; a trip to PUP or short-term IR would've guaranteed at least a four-game absence. But Jackson did not return to practice at the start of this week, and general manager Tom Telesco was noncommittal about his practice availability leading up to Sunday's opener.
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Until Jackson, who's racked up a combined 22 interceptions over the last three seasons, is able to take the field, the Chargers are expected to rely on veteran Michael Davis as a starting cornerback opposite Asante Samuel Jr. They also have former Broncos starter Bryce Callahan on the depth chart.