Rookie Jackson back at practice, 'loved' first NFL experience originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SANTA CLARA — Drake Jackson returned to team drills at 49ers practice on Sunday, which wasn't a surprise to the rookie pass rusher.
Jackson left the 49ers' preseason opener early in the first half on Friday night at Levi's Stadium. In the process of chasing Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love to the sideline, the rookie landed awkwardly on his shoulder.
After the game Kyle Shanahan shared that Jackson was dealing with a stinger which the head coach confirmed on Saturday after multiple tests. The USC product was back on the field for a light non-padded practice the following day.
“[I was] not really scared,” Jackson said on Sunday. “I kind of wanted to come back and play, so I knew everything was going to be fine at the end of the day. [The shoulder] feels good, just taking it day by day.”
In the short time Jackson was on the field, he had a clear impact on the game, getting pressure on Love a few plays in a row. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was pleased with the rookie's performance but reiterated that there are still things the pass rusher needs to work on.
“Drake did some good things that translate to us winning games,” Ryans said. “The effort, attacking the throwing arm, those things translate to us winning games. We are expecting even more out of him. It was a good first outing, still learning and still growing.”
Jackson has been keeping good on his promise to be a sponge when it comes to learning from veterans, remarking that Nick Bosa and Trent Williams have been great resources. The rookie isn’t afraid to ask any of his teammates questions in meetings or on the practice field.
At 260 pounds, Jackson has returned to what he finds the most comfortable weight to play. The young pass rusher said that he missed playing at this weight and is still able to move the way he needs to in order to get into the back field and affect the play.
Overall, Jackson knows he has work to do to improve and be as consistent as possible on the field. He shared that playing all across the line is a possibility and a great challenge, but most of all, he is just happy to be back on the field.
“Man, I loved it,” Jackson said. “It felt crazy being out there, just being in the NFL being able to be on the field. It felt good, it felt like I’m back.”