One of the foundation pieces of Tampa’s young defense won’t be available for the first quarter of the season.
The NFL has suspended free safety Tanard Jackson for the first four games of 2009 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Bucs G.M. Mark Dominik confirmed the news, and says Jackson will not appeal the suspension.
Jackson has been a starter since day one of his career and has developed into the most reliable player in Tampa’s secondary.
With Jackson gone, Will Allen is likely to fill in at safety. Safety-turned-linebacker Jermaine Phillips could also potentially fill in if the team needs help.