Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson has been placed on injured reserve with a left leg injury, raising the possibility that he’s played his last game for the Buccaneers.
The team announced Tuesday that Jackson, who in the final season of a five-year contract that pays him more than $9 million in 2016, complained of discomfort in his left knee after playing the entire game during the Bucs’ 17-14 victory over Carolina on Oct. 10. The Bucs had a bye last week and are preparing to face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
A MRI revealed an injury to the 33-year-old’s anterior cruciate ligament.
“This is obviously very disappointing for me personally. I had high hopes for this season because I know what we are capable of accomplishing as a team,” Jackson said in a statement released by the team.
“My top priority going into every season is being out there with my teammates and helping my team any way possible,” Jackson added. “While I may not be on the field for the foreseeable future, I will be focused on beginning my rehab as soon as possible and finding ways to support my teammates in whatever way I can.”
Jackson is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2012 and has had 268 receptions and 4,326 yards and 20 touchdowns since joining the team. He had 15 receptions for 173 yards in five games this season.
“Any time you lose a player and team leader of Vincent’s caliber, it is a setback for your team,” coach Dirk Koetter said.
“Vincent is a very tough-minded player and a great competitor. Even though he doesn’t recall when he injured his knee, he was still out there the entire game and made two crucial catches on our final drive to set up the game-winning field goal,” Koetter added. “I know that being placed on Injured Reserve is difficult for him, but I also know he will maintain a strong presence in our locker room and will help our younger guys prepare and develop because that’s the type of team-first leader he is.”