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Jackson was a first-round pick out of Oregon State in 2004, also the first running back selected in the draft, and joined an aging version of the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis. He had 673 yards rushing and a 5-yard average for a team that beat the Seahawks three times, the final time in the first round of the playoffs, before getting blown out 47-17 at Atlanta.

He assumed there would be many more opportunities. Instead, the Rams‘ best since then was 8-8 in 2006, and they were 6-42 from 2007-09.

“I thought it would be an every year thing,” Jackson said. “I thought the playoffs would be something I would be accustomed to. God willing we make it back this time, I won’t take it for granted. I’ll take every play like I won’t be back.”