Madden was first released on PC in 1988, during Jackson's sophomore season in the NFL. But due to licensing problems and a hip injury during his 1990 NFL season that forced his premature retirement from football, Jackson didn't appear in Madden during his playing time. In 2014, Jackson became a part of the Madden debut in the game as a special-edition participant with The Ultimate Team game mode.
This week, EA Sports announced that not only will Jackson make a return for the first time after Madden NFL 15 however, Jackson will also have the privilege of becoming an official Madden cover athlete. After nearly 35 years since his NFL career started with the 1987 season, Jackson has been selected to be on the digital cover for Madden NFL 22. And beginning Friday, gamers will be allowed to play the game virtually. EA Sports also teamed up with Nike to bring back the famous sportswear brand's Bo Knows ad campaign by incorporating a digitally rendered version of his iconic shoe that is, that of the Nike Air Bo Turf in the gameplay.
Jackson has become the seventh running back named a Madden cover athlete. He is followed by Eddie George (Madden 2001), Marshall Faulk (Madden 2003), Shaun Alexander (Madden 2007), Peyton Hillis (Madden 12), Adrian Peterson and Barry Sanders (both Madden 25).
The cover's reveal was a few days ago. The Undefeated's Aaron Dodson caught up with Jackson to discuss Jackson's Tecmo Bowl days, how Bo Knows came to life, his Madden return and more.
The conversation was edited for clarity and length.
What is it like for you to finally become an active cover athlete for the game 35 years after the time your career started?