Gameday morning has traditionally been a national dumping ground for the NFL media, and primetime games are easy targets to get attention for a story. Thursday was no different with stories on Carson Wentz, Ron Rivera, Dan Snyder, and William Jackson all getting published for the NFL audience. The Jackson story had been brewing since he missed the Week 3 game against the Eagles, then got pulled from the Week 5 game against the Titans. Jackson claimed it was a back injury, Rivera was asked multiple times about the apparent benching and gave answers about his communication with teammates and fitting in the scheme.
NFL Network reported that Jackson wants a new team and a new scheme. Rivera has been deflecting questions about the trade request, instead falling back on the dealing with an injury story. ESPN reported earlier today that an MRI did reveal that Jackson is dealing with a back injury, but its something he could play through if he felt comfortable. They confirmed the NFL Network that Jackson wants out of Washington, but said he hasn’t officially requested a trade. The team is deciding whether he might need to go to IR, and if he doesn’t they are looking to move him quickly. The NFL’s trade deadline is November 1st.
Jackson was interviewed by several reporters today and denied that he wanted to be traded and said he doesn’t know where those reports came from. He said he is continuing to rehab his back injury and hoping to return to the field soon.
Jackson on the trade reports: "People can write what they want to write. I read a lot of stuff. I read, 'I want out,' I read it all. People want a story, so what can I say? I'm not a guy to get on the Internet and do all that extra stuff. I just let the media have that."— John Keim (@john_keim) October 18, 2022
More Jackson, when asked if he wants out: "I never said that. I never said, 'I want out.' I love my teammates, I love being around the guys. People are going to write what they want to write. I just sit back and do my job."— John Keim (@john_keim) October 18, 2022
He also admitted that he’s still getting used to Washington’s system and playing more zone. This is Jackson’s 2nd year in Jack Del Rio’s system, and he hasn’t seemed comfortable in it since signing a 3-year, $42 million contract last offseason. Washington’s defense seemed to have less “explosive plays” allowed since Jackson has been out, and the complaints about communication issues haven’t been as loud.
William Jackson III: "It's been adversity, for sure. But that's part of the game. I was asked to do different things, you know, so I'm just trying to get accustomed with the zone thing, still getting that together, but it's coming together slowly and surely."— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) October 18, 2022