The Josh Jackson experiment has returned to the Midwest. The former Green Bay Packers cornerback has found a new home in Kansas City following a failed stint in East Rutherford. The Chiefs inked the 2018 second-round pick to a deal on October 29th, per the team’s official transaction report. Jackson will initially join K.C.’s practice squad.
Acquired by the Giants in an offseason trade with the Packers, the former Jack Tatum Trophy recipient (top collegiate defensive back) failed to find his footing in New York. A healthy-scratch for each of Big Blue’s first seven games of 2021, Jackson was unable to crack the team’s cornerback rotation despite injuries to rookies Rodarius Williams and Aaron Robinson, as well as diminutive snaps for second-year pro Darnay Holmes — who’s played 29% fewer snaps this season when compared to the year prior.
The Giants ultimately chose to wash their hands of Jackson on October 27th, waiving the defensive back in order to free up space for J.R. Reed on the active roster. Reed’s addition came on the heels of starting safety Jabrill Peppers being placed on season-ending injured reserve with a knee injury.
Over Jackson’s career, the Iowa alumn has appeared in 42 games since being selected No. 45 overall by the Packers. During that span he’s amassed 86 tackles, 12 passes defended and one fumble recovery. He flashed some as a rookie, starting 10 games for the Packers in 2018. However, over the past two-and-a-half years he’s been mostly relegated to a reserve role, starting just five games since his sophomore campaign.
Deandre Baker to Face Giants on Monday Night
This wouldn’t be the first time the Chiefs took a swing on a Giants castoff in hopes of bolstering their secondary. Kansas City signed former first-round pick Deandre Baker last November. Like Jackson, the Georgia product initially joined the team’s practice squad but was quickly elevated to the active roster a few weeks later. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken femur in just his second game with the Chiefs, missing the team’s postseason run.
He has since returned to the playing field, appearing in four games with Kansas City this season, including playing 91% of the team’s defensive snaps as a starter in the team’s Week 4 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
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Baker Looking to Get His Career Back on Track
Baker’s playing time since his lone start of the season has fallen off, logging just one defensive snap and six special teams snaps over the Chiefs’ past two games. He’ll look to muscle his way back into Kansas City’s defensive back rotation on Monday night against a Giants team expected to have Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard back at their disposal.
“He’s come in here and worked and done everything we’ve asked him,” Chiefs head coach Andry Reid said of Baker, via the New York Post. “He had that horrendous broken leg that he had last year. He’s still kind of really working through that as he goes.”
Baker appeared in all 16 games (15 starts) during his rookie season with the Giants, struggling mightily in zone coverage. However, as Pro Football Focus highlighted towards the latter end of the 2018 season, a defensive shift towards more man-to-man looks played in Baker’s favor as he began to flash the traits that once made him such a highly-touted prospect.
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