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Nebraska Nickel Defensive Back Charles Jackson Out for Season

Gregory Shamus

At Wednesday night's practice, Nebraska defensive back Charles Jackson was seen in street clothes with his knee in a heavy brace. Bo Pelini said that he was "day-to-day" and would undergo additional tests today. Tonight, Pelini broke the bad news that Jackson would undergo knee surgery and would miss the 2014 season.

The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that the injury is similar in some ways to the MCL injury that hampered Rex Burkhead throughout his senior season, but that surgery probably was the best long-term solution.

Jackson still has a redshirt season available, so he'll still have two seasons of eligibility to play. Jackson was expected to be the starter at nickel back this season, as he had really grown into the role during the offseason. Fans have always been tempted by his playmaking talent on special teams, and were anxiously waiting for him to see more playing time.  They'll have to wait a year longer now, unfortunately.  Junior college transfer Byerson Cockrell appears to be the next man up at the nickel.

I suspected that Cockrell might be contending to start at the other cornerback spot across from Josh Mitchell, but the nickel role is so fundamental to a Pelini defense, he might be the best substitute. True freshmen Josh Kalu and Trai Mosley will also get a look as well. As for cornerback, the coaches feel confident in the others that are available: