It’s been just over a week since Seattle Seahawks defensive end Branden Jackson was knocked unconscious during the team’s mock game a week ago Saturday and sent to the hospital by ambulance. Jackson did not spend much time in the hospital, and was released before too long, posting to his social media that he was in good health and simply needed to get some scans done.
Seahawks defensive end Branden Jackson on his Instagram: pic.twitter.com/QXjlFnYX3m— Ben Arthur (@benyarthur) August 23, 2020
However, Jackson was placed on injured reserve Sunday, and according to Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, tests revealed some sort of issue that led the medical staff to determine that it would be best for Jackson not to play this season.
Pete Carroll said doctors decided it would be best for Branden Jackson not to play this year. Don't know what that means beyond this year. "We're erring on the side of long-term health and taking care of our guys."— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) August 30, 2020
Carroll: Branden Jackson on IR - the doctors don't recommend him playing this season. #Seahawks— Aaron Levine (@AaronQ13Fox) August 30, 2020
That certainly makes it sound like Jackson will be spending the entirety of the 2020 season on injured reserve, meaning that for those who have asked he is unlikely to pass a physical at any point in the season and be released from injured reserve. In addition, there is no reason for him to accept an injury settlement which would lower his cap hit. In addition, while no football player ever wants to lose a season to injury, Pete went further and indicated that whatever the issue is that has doctors concerned could potentially be career ending for Jackson.
Pete Carroll says DE Branden Jackson went on injured reserve because #Seahawks doctors recommend he not play this season following getting knocked unconscious last week in mock game. He has a spinal condition “that makes it possibly dangerous” long-term @thenewstribune— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) August 30, 2020
Pete Carroll says Branden Jackson’s spinal characteristics are similar to conditions that ended Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril’s careers. Not the same but similar #Seahawks— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) August 30, 2020
For those who do not recall, Cliff Avril had surgery during the 2017 season to repair a disc issue in his neck, while Kam Chancellor was found to have spinal stenosis in November of 2017 following a stinger suffered against the Arizona Cardinals in garbage time. Those issues led to the conclusion of the career for each of Chancellor and Avril, as Avril was released with a failed physical designation in May of 2018 and Chancellor was released with a failed physical designation in May of 2019.
In short, it means that Jackson’s 2020 season is certainly over, and just as was done with both Avril and Chancellor, will perform follow up scans in approximately six months to evaluate his neck. In any case, whether Jackson ever sets foot on an NFL field again as a player or not, hopefully whatever the issue is was identified early enough to not lead to lifetime issues. Hopefully the mock game doesn’t wind up as the last time Jackson dons an NFL uniform, but even if it is, best of luck to him in everything going forward.