Those words came only three days after Jackson hinted that retirement could be in the not so distant future – as soon as after this season even.
When asked on Thursday how many seasons he believed he had left in the tank, Jackson offered up an answer that would have left most Rams fans wondering about the future of their favorite teams’ ground attack.
“Maybe this last one. Those hits hurt,” Jackson replied.
Logically, hanging up the cleats wouldn’t be a bad idea for Jackson, who has taken his fair share of lumps as the Rams’ feature back of the last decade. Through nine seasons in the NFL, the dynamic runner has amassed 2,802 touches for a total of 13,459 yards and 64 touchdowns. During that time, he has suffered innumerous injuries while still managing over 1,000 rushing yards in each season after his rookie year.
Despite his immense talent, Jackson has been forced to shoulder a heavy burden as the Rams failed to provide him with a complimentary passing game or a consistent group of blockers. All of these factors led to him carrying the team season after season and drawing eight-man fronts on a weekly basis. Apparently, it has taken a toll that Jackson might not be willing to pay much longer.
With the immergence of Daryl Richardson as a capable change-of-pace running back, there’s a good chance that the Rams could lessen the load for Jackson moving forward. If they can improve their wide receiver corps and offensive line this offseason, the veteran might even regain the confidence that he needs to put his retirement plans on hold.
It’s been a taxing career for Jackson. Thoughts of retirement are understandable, but the Rams would take a huge hit if he were to call it quits. They better surround him with some better talent before it’s too late.