This was not the news the Jacksonville Jaguars needed to hear going into the team’s training camp this week.
According to Jaguars.com, wide receiver Ace Sanders announced Tuesday evening that he faces a four-game suspension from the National Football League and in addition will likely miss the majority of 2014 Training Camp due to personal issues.
“I will not be doing the majority of training camp; I have some personal issues that I am dealing with. I’m trying to get everything straightened out. It’s been a really, really tough road for me these last couple of months and I’ve just been dealing with a lot of stuff with life, and family and a lot of issues going on,” Sanders said during a media conference call Tuesday evening.
The conference call came nearly an hour after the Jaguars announced that Sanders had been placed on the active/non-football injury/illness list.
“I will probably be facing a four-game suspension as well, and I’d just really rather everybody hear that from me first before hearing it from anybody else just so I can just get everything out there in the open and let everyone know I am taking full responsibility for all my actions, everything that I did,” Sanders added.
The Jaguars are already dealing with the suspension of wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who has not been reinstated yet by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy last season. Blackmon played in a total of four games last season for the Jaguars.
Jacksonville went through its minicamp dealing with as many as seven receivers at a time on the sideline nursing injuries, including Sanders. As a rookie last year, the South Carolina product was a key part of the passing offense, filling in for Blackmon and other injured receivers. His 51 pass catches were second on the team behind Cecil Shorts.
This year, he was expected to compete for one of the slot positions on the roster, but with the team drafting Marquis Lee and Allen Robinson in the second round, there has been some local talk that his spot in the rotation was in jeopardy. Take into account the team also signed Tandon Doss to help in the return game and Sanders was already facing an uphill battle. This situation will not help him.
A suspension has not been announced by the league. He would be able to participate in training camp practices and preseason games.
“I just really wanted to let the fan base know, let my family know, let Mr. Shad Khan, (General Manager) Dave Caldwell and (Head) Coach Gus (Bradley) and all my teammates know that I am truly sorry for what has happened,” Sanders said.
The Jaguars open their training camp on Friday.