New CB William Jackson III ‘Hobbled’ By Back Injury, Says DC Teryl Austin

While the Pittsburgh Steelers traded for CB William Jackson III more than a week ago, they may have to wait even longer to see him on the field. Held out with a back injury during Monday and Wednesday’s practice, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin confirmed Jackson’s back injury remains an issue and his status is uncertain for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Per the PPG’s Brian Batko, Austin said Jackson will need to start practicing by Friday.

Jackson battled a back injury while with Washington and hasn’t played since Week 5 but at the time, it was uncertain if his back was truly injured or if that was an easy excuse to keep Jackson – unhappy with his role – out of the lineup. But the injury seems to be legitimate and Jackson has only practiced once with the Steelers, his first day with the team last Wednesday. Even getting in a Friday practice wouldn’t seemingly be enough to start this weekend considering his newness tot he team and lack of reps over the last month.

Jackson is one of several cornerback injuries to watch this weekend. Ahkello Witherspoon failed to practice yesterday due to a lingering hamstring injury. He’s only played one half of action since Week 4, benched before halftime in the team’s Week 8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Levi Wallace missed that game with a shoulder injury but practiced in full yesterday, meaning he’s likely to play against the Saints. If Jackson and Witherspoon miss, Wallace will likely serve as the team’s starting LCB while James Pierre could rotate in sub-packages.

Hours before last Tuesday’s trade deadline, Pittsburgh traded a 2025 conditional 6th round pick to Washington for Jackson and a 2025 conditional 7th round selection. Aside from paying the remainder of his 2022 base salary, the Steelers’ investment is minimal. But a 30-year old corner with a bad back may offer little return, too. Jackson might be the old saying of you get what you pay for and there’s a reason why Washington was practically giving him away.

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