Just two days after being benched at halftime against the Broncos, head coach Brandon Staley announced to the media that cornerback J.C. Jackson will be back in the starting lineup this coming Sunday against the Seahawks.
After allowing the Broncos’ only touchdown of the night — a blown coverage on rookie tight end Greg Dulcich — and a massive gain to wide receiver KJ Hamler that help set up a Denver field goal just before halftime, Jackson was benched in favor Michael Davis who was much more stout in his duties during the second half. After Jackson was benched, the Broncos offense was incredibly stagnant and Russell Wilson only completed three passes through the remainder of regulation.
Whether that was due to Davis’ play or another factor, there was no denying that the defense as a whole looked better after Jackson was benched.
So despite the positive results, Staley is deciding to trust Jackson once again to go out there and earn the $80 million contract he signed earlier this offseason.
Through four games as a member of the Chargers, Jackson has been not only the worst defensive back on the team, but arguably one of the worst in the entire league.
According to Pro Football Focus, out of 108 cornerbacks to record 100 or more snaps on defense this year, Jackson ranks 107th in overall season grade. His coverage grade of 28.9 is also second-worst amongst qualifying players.
Jackson has allowed 331 yards in coverage this year through four games. His previous career high is 691 during the 2020 season. His current pace — should he play in every game the rest of the season — would be 1,241 yards.
I don’t blame Staley for giving Jackson more opportunities, especially when his price tag is as high as it is, but at some point the team will need to do what’s right which could be benching Jackson for good or having him play in a rotational role the rest of the way.