Vincent Jackson, Logan Mankins to play in 2010?
Per ESPN's Chris Mortensen, San Diego Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson and New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins will play in 2010 based on what the NFLPA has advised them to do.
Despite some conflicting provisions in the collective bargaining agreement, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello (via e-mail to Mortensen) confirmed that "a restricted free agent has the right to accept his tender and report to the club any time up until the Tuesday after week 10 (Nov. 16, 4 p.m. ET) of the regular season, whether or not the club requests or agrees to his reporting."
In order to accrue their sixth year towards free agency, however, Jackson will need to report by October 31st.
Jackson has to report earlier than Mankins since the Chargers placed Jackson on the roster-exempt list, which means that Jackson will be forced to sit an additional three games once he reports.
So, Jackson would be eligible to return to the field on November 28th against the Indianapolis Colts if he reports to San Diego on October 31st.
Then Jackson and the Chargers would face the Raiders, Chiefs, 49ers, Bengals and Broncos in the final five weeks of the season.
If he's available in your free-agent pool, it'd be worth a flier to pick him up although I'm a little skeptical of how motivated he'd be to put up fantasy-worthy weeks down the stretch. In other words, he might pull a Moss-esque "I play when I want to" and he may not want to.
Then again, he would be playing for a new contract.
Either way, if (when) he returns, expect him to take several of the targets away from Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd, who lead the team with 41 and 39, respectively.