Cornerback J.C. Jackson, one of the Los Angeles Chargers' prized offseason acquisitions, will miss two to four weeks after undergoing surgery on his ankle, the team announced on Tuesday.
Jackson has not played a snap in the preseason and missed Monday's practice for undisclosed reasons. Tuesday's news provides clarity to his situation and also means Los Angeles might be without one of its top defenders for the start of the regular season.
The Chargers meet the team that sent them to the offseason last season, the Las Vegas Raiders, in a divisional battle in Week 1 on Sept. 11. Jackson's current timetable means he could be out until Week 3, though the shorter side of that window also leaves open the possibility of returning for the season opener. If Jackson does miss the first two games of the season, that would mean the Chargers would be forced to play two important divisional games (Week 2 includes a date with the Kansas City Chiefs) without Jackson in what is expected to be a highly competitive race for the AFC West crown.
After falling short of the playoffs in heartbreaking fashion last year, Los Angeles has built positive momentum in the offseason thanks in part to the addition of Jackson via free agency and trade for pass-rusher Khalil Mack. Losing Jackson for up to as many as four weeks puts a bit of a damper on that momentum. However, the NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint. The Chargers will have to remind themselves of this as they await Jackson's return.