Los Angeles Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson underwent ankle surgery Tuesday, putting his availability for the first two games of the season in doubt.
Jackson will miss two to four weeks, the team said in a statement. The procedure was performed at the New York Hospital of Special Surgery. The team did not specify which ankle.
Jackson was the standout free agent addition for the Chargers when they overhauled their defense this offseason, signing a five-year contract worth $82.5 million, including $40 million guaranteed.
He played his first four seasons with the New England Patriots, intercepting 25 passes in 62 games.
Originally an undrafted free agent out of Maryland, Jackson emerged as one of the top defensive backs in the NFL over the past two seasons. He had a league-leading 23 passes defended last season, while his eight interceptions ranked second.
The Patriots chose not to use the franchise tag on the 26-year-old.
Jackson bolsters a Chargers secondary that allowed 27 points per game and ranked last in third-down conversion percentage (49.54).
The Chargers host the Las Vegas Raiders to open the season on Sept. 11 in a rematch of the thrilling Week 18 35-32 overtime loss that cost Los Angeles a playoff berth. The Chargers will then play at the Kansas City Chiefs the following Thursday.
Michael Davis and second-year cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. would likely start if Jackson cannot play in one or both of those games, with former Denver Broncos defender Bryce Callahan expected to work out of the slot.
“I think that it gives us a lot of different lanes to go to,” defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill said Tuesday. “That’s what we wanted. We wanted depth in this group. Like I said, the reps and the competition, as these guys have developed, I think that has really helped us.”
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