SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Disgruntled San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson could return from suspension for Week Five if he is traded by next Wednesday, following an agreement between the NFL and the players union.
The 27-year-old Pro Bowler is serving an overall six-game ban but that would be trimmed to four games if the Chargers can agree terms with another team by next week's deadline.
Unchanged, however, is the three-game ban imposed on Jackson in July for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
A five-year league veteran, Jackson was also placed on the roster exemption list by the Chargers, resulting in a further three-game ban once he signed with San Diego.
"The NFL management council and NFL Players Association have resolved the grievance filed by the NFLPA last week on behalf of San Diego Chargers' restricted free agent Vincent Jackson," the NFL said in a statement on Thursday.
"If Jackson signs a contract with San Diego and is traded by 4 p.m. ET, on Wednesday, September 22, he will be placed on the Commissioner Exempt list for three games, retroactive to game two of the season.
"This means that if Jackson is traded by the September 22 deadline, he will be available to play for his new club beginning with the new club's fifth game."
If Jackson is not traded by the deadline, the NFL said he would serve the rest of his three-game suspension and be placed on roster exempt "until the day following the third game scheduled after the date he actually reports."
This would regardless of any subsequent trade by the Chargers, the NFL added.
(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Ginsburg)