OWINGS MILLS - Cornerback Asa Jackson (ankle) was not even listed on Wednesday’s injury report and declared himself ready for Sunday’s season-opener against the Bengals.
“It’s an opportunity I’ve been wanting for a long time,” said Jackson following Wednesday’s practice. “Now I have to take advantage.”
Asked how close he was to 100 percent, Jackson said, “I’m good to go. Top shape, full speed by Sunday. Really, I feel like that now. Obviously everything’s up to the coaches, but as far as ability (to play full speed), I’m good to go.
Jackson is in this third season with the Ravens, and is expected to be their primary nickel cornerback behind Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. Smith (chest injurry) looks to be ready for Sunday as well, not even listed on Wednesday's injury report. Webb (back) was on the report, but he was listed as probable.
Jackson was suspended for four games as a rookie, and for eight games last season for violating the NFL performance enhancing drug policy. This season, Jackson has a chance for more playing time than ever, and sounded determined to take advantage.
“I’m excited, man,” Thompson said. “The fact I have a possibility (to play regularly) on this kind of defense? Man, it’s awesome.”
Jackson said he expected to play at a high level Sunday despite missing significant practice time during training camp.
“I’ve been here for three years now, and a lot of the stuff I already know,” Jackson said. “ I’m not really concerned about rust.”
What if the Bengals target Jackson, to see how ready he is?
“I’m looking forward to that, too,” Jackson said. “The more balls get thrown my way, the more opportunities I’ll have to get my hands on one. Looking forward to the challenge for sure.”