COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — J.C. Jackson is trying to stay focused on the present, even though he has generated plenty of attention for what has transpired over the past week.
After practice Thursday, the beleaguered Los Angeles Chargers cornerback tried to pivot to Sunday's matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, even though many are still wondering why he was inactive last week at Minnesota.
Jackson said he thinks he will be in the lineup to face the Raiders, but also acknowledged he is still wondering why he didn't play against the Vikings.
“I kind of knew what was going on. I’m still confused on why," he said. "I can’t put my opinion on it. It was a coach decision. It’s not my team. I can tell you I’m confused and I don’t know what’s going on. But that’s not the real answer of why I didn’t play or why I didn’t start. That’s above me.”
Jackson played in 85 of the 132 Chargers’ defensive snaps in the first two games. He signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract last year but hasn’t come close to being the same player he was in New England, where he picked off 25 passes between 2018 and 2021.
Against Miami and Tennessee, Jackson was targeted 12 times and allowed six receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Last season Jackson played in only five games and allowed four touchdowns. He was benched during a Monday night game in Week 6 against Denver but suffered a season-ending knee injury the following week against Seattle.
Jackson said he is not fully recovered from the injury, but didn't want to put a percentage on his level of health.
When it comes to what Jackson can do to earn more trust from the coaching staff, the most used word from coach Brandon Staley and defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley is consistency.
Staley on Monday said that what Jackson does in practice and how he prepares will be the determining factors in his status on game days.
Ansley on Thursday echoed that assessment by saying “It's not a technique issue. Just coming out here every day and being consistent. Just come out every day and practice — practice and do your part, and everything else will work itself out moving forward.”
Whether that message has gotten through to Jackson though, remains to be seen. He spent extended time after Thursday's practice catching passes on the Juggs machine.
However, Jackson made it sound as if he is steadfast in his approach during the week.
“I’m not changing anything. I’m gonna just continue to be who I am,” he said. “There’s no pressure on me. I’m gonna just do my daily routine, be a pro and take care of business on Sunday.”
Jackson also said a legal matter after an arrest warrant was issued on Monday in Massachusetts. Jackson failed to appear for a court hearing on traffic charges from 2021, when he played for the New England Patriots.
Jackson missed the deadline for paying the fine and attending reckless driving classes.
“There was a miscommunication, but everything is taken care of," he said.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
Joe Reedy, The Associated Press