Disgruntled wide receiver Vincent Jackson could miss as few as three weeks or as many as six, depending on any potential trade.
Jackson, like teammate Marcus McNeill, was placed on the roster-exempt list by the Chargers, a designation that carries a three-game suspension with it. And Jackson also has a league mandated three-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy, which will be served beginning Week 1 regardless of his team or roster status.
According to an NFL spokesperson, if Jackson was traded and reported to his new club before the Sept. 4 deadline for final roster reduction, then his roster-exempt suspension would be served concurrently with the league-mandated suspension, and therefore Jackson could return to the active roster for Week 4.
If Vincent Jackson isn't traded before the 6 p.m. (ET) roster deadline on Sept. 4, he faces missing six games this season even if he's dealt after that.
The Chargers are at least somewhat open to trading Jackson, as they granted permission for him to speak to the Seattle Seahawks last week.
Here is the official statement from the league on the matter:
"Vincent Jackson's three-game Substance Abuse suspension begins once the final roster reduction takes place (6 p.m. ET on Sept. 4).
"Jackson is ineligible to report to the club during his suspension.
"As per the CBA's restricted free agency provisions, if Jackson reports after his suspension begins on Sept. 4, he will be ineligible to play for an additional three weeks following the date he actually reports. The CBA's restricted free agency provisions state that once a club has notified a player of its intention to place him on the roster exempt list, the player must remain on that list for three games following the date on which he actually reports to his club."