CFL: Jackson, Lions riding the wave
Playing in his ninth year with the Vancouver team, Jackson has been a part of a Lions club that has seen the highs and lows over his career, including two trips to the championship and one Grey Cup ring. At no time during this period could things have been as frustrating as they currently are for the North Vancouver product.
With fifty plus receptions over the previous five years (and forty-eight in 2005) Jackson was a prominent figure for the Lions offense.
Since last season, Jackson has been battling inflammation in his knee, something which kept both management and the fans guessing if he would be able to provide the team with the same swaggering presence that he had in the past.
However, in Wally Buono’s mind, the play of rookie Kierrie Johnson, sophomores Akeem Foster and Shaun Gore, combined with newcomer Arland Bruce and “Superman” Geroy Simon left little room for the return of Jackson in any significant form.
What has hurt Jackson’s playing time the most is when he finally has become somewhat healthy, the Leo’s are (as I write this, Akeem Foster goes down, allowing Jackson the opportunity for a couple of reps…coincidence?) in the midst of an eight game winning streak.
This season, with minimal playing time prior to Saturday’s game, the stat line for Jackson reads one reception and one blocked punt. Not what fans, management and Jackson have come to expect from number 19.
With Foster gone for the remainder of the second half, Jackson managed to finish the game with two receptions and twenty nine yards in what amounted to garbage time in a 42-10 drubbing to the Hamilton TiCats.
Does this mean that Jackson will receive significant minutes next week at home against the Eskimos? Fans and Jackson hope so, as the injury to Foster, a hyper-extended knee, may open the window of opportunity a little wider.
While as an athlete you never want to benefit from the misfortunes of others, Jackson knows full well that he was placed in a similar situation from last season and is hungry to reclaim a place in the spotlight and another opportunity to claim a Grey Cup ring, in what might be his final year with the Lions.