Back from an eight-game suspension for his second violation of the NFL performance-enhancing drug policy, Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson vowed there won't be a third misstep, and he's determined to make the most of this chance.
"Definitely, it's been a rough first two years with that kind of stuff," said Jackson, who served a four-game suspension last year as a rookie. "From here on out, I've grown as a person and as a man and they're not going to have any problems out of me."
Jackson was suspended twice for unauthorized use of Adderall, a medication that heightens concentration and is commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
This latest suspension cost Jackson eight game checks from his $480,000 base salary, a loss in pay of $225,882. Jackson is paid $28,235 per week during the regular season.
“I was diagnosed with a condition that can be treated with a medication allowed under the NFL/NFLPA policy after a player obtains a therapeutic use exemption,” Jackson said in a statement in August when he was suspended. “I now have the required approval, but the positive test occurred before it was approved. The policy is very strict, so I have chosen to be immediately accountable."
A 5-foot-10, 190-pound former fifth-round draft pick from Cal Poly, Jackson said he now has the required approval for the medication and everyone is on the same page.
"I just want to say the fans, first and foremost, thanks for everybody continuing to support me," Jackson said. "It was a miscommunication, missing documents. Both sides made mistakes, and I'll take full responsibility for it. I'm past that."
Jackson was reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell from the reserve-suspended list.
The NFL granted the Ravens a roster exemption for Jackson through Monday. They can place Jackson on the active roster at any time.
"Hopefully, nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL," Jackson said. "The fact that they rought me back I hope I'm here for a reason and I'm just looking forward to continuing what I did during camp and helping the team."
Jackson appeared to be in good shape and was involved with special teams during his first practice back with the team Wednesday. The Ravens want to evaluate Jackson's conditioning and how he might fit in with their personnel before making a decision on his roster status.
"I'm sure that's it," Jackson said. "I've been gone for so long they want to see what kind of shape I'm in how I'm moving and go from there."