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Former Chargers RB Justin Jackson announces retirement

The Chargers seventh-round pick in 2018 is hanging up his cleats.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions announced some roster moves yesterday, one of which took many by surprise.

Former Chargers running back Justin Jackson has retired from the NFL, ending a career that offered flashes of excellent potential, but was continuously thwarted by injuries.

Jackson was drafted out of Northwestern, with 6298 scrimmage yards to his name over a four-year career. Despite his highly productive campaign, the Chargers managed to snag him in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL draft to back up the productive Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler tandem.

When Jackson was healthy and given opportunities, he impressed as a runner. His Pro Football Focus grades were routinely favorable, posting overall season marks of 77.2, 84.4, 78.0, and 63.1 in his four seasons with the Bolts. Despite being an efficient runner, he was never able to play a full 16 game slate and seemed to always get banged up when he was starting to make a statement for himself.

One of the biggest highlights of his career was the comeback he led against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018. The Chargers were down 23-15 going into the fourth quarter and hadn’t sniffed a lead all game. That was, until Desmond King returned a punt 73 yards at the top of the quarter. The next drive, Justin Jackson played a key role in giving the Chargers their go-ahead score.

The Chargers went on to win the game 33-30 and made a nationally televised statement.

It wasn’t a surprise to see Jackson walk in free agency, and Charger fans collectively wished him success in his stint with the Lions. We’re sorry to see him retire early, but wish nothing but the best for him wherever life takes him next!