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Tanard Jackson's return will help Bucs

Coming off a 48-3 loss to San Francisco, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting some good news.

Adam Schefter, citing a league source, reports safety Tanard Jackson has been reinstated by the NFL. Jackson was suspended last September for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

It’s unclear whether Jackson will be in football shape right away and ready to play Sunday when the Bucs host the New Orleans Saints. But, whenever Jackson is ready, he should provide a big boost to the defense.

Before the suspension, Jackson was considered one of the league’s top young safeties. He never was charged with any criminal activity, but ran afoul of the substance abuse policy at least twice to draw a one-year suspension.

The Bucs are not expected to release Jackson, who remains under contract for the rest of this season. Team officials haven’t been allowed to have contact with Jackson during the suspension. The Bucs likely want to talk with Jackson and get a read on his physical conditioning before deciding how quickly they want to activate him.

Cody Grimm, who took Jackson’s place last year, is injured and out for the rest of this season. Since Grimm’s injury, the Bucs have been using Corey Lynch and Larry Asante at safety.