CB J.C. Jackson surprise inactive for Chargers

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Los Angeles Chargers made cornerback J.C. Jackson inactive ahead of their 28-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

The decision came as a surprise, as the team didn't list Jackson on its injury report during the week and the Chargers played against Justin Jefferson, who leads the NFL in receiving yards.

Jackson signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Chargers in May 2022 after a Pro Bowl and All-Pro season with the New England Patriots, where he was second in the NFL with eight interceptions.

The Chargers allowed 367 passing yards, including 149 yards and a touchdown by Jefferson, but they hung on for a victory.

"We felt like this was the right group for this game and really nothing more than that," Chargers coach Brandon Staley said.

Staley said Jackson's opportunity to work back into the starting lineup was "to be determined."

Since Jackson has been with the Chargers, he has struggled to match his play in New England. Last season, Jackson allowed a career-worst 149.3 passing rating when targeted, according to Pro Football Reference, before rupturing the patellar tendon in his right knee in Week 7 and missing the rest of the season.

Jackson has rotated at outside cornerback this season with Michael Davis, which Staley said had been a part of his ramp-up from injury. Staley said, however, that he thought the Chargers have "three starting corners" and would continue rotating Davis, Jackson and Asante Samuel Jr. until two starters emerged.

In limited snaps this season, Jackson has one interception and has allowed a 72.0 passer rating, according to Pro Football Reference. But the Chargers' secondary has struggled, allowing the most passing yards in the NFL.

"Every team is still finding their identity, seeing who can play, who can ball," Jackson said at his locker earlier this week, when asked about the struggling secondary. "It's Week 3. ... Real football starts in October, November. It's still early right now. It's still preseason right now. Real football has not started yet."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.