Since the announcement came at the start of OTAs that Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon would be suspended for violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, he hasn’t done much to distinguish himself in the offseason.
Blackmon had surgery on his groin recently and the team is not sure if the former first round pick will be ready when the team walks onto the practice field for training camp on July 26.
Blackmon is the third Jaguars player to have a procedure on their groin this offseason.
Blackmon caught 64 passes last season in his first campaign, looking more comfortable in the offense as the season wore on, most notably after Chad Henne was inserted in the lineup at quarterback following an injury to Blaine Gabbert.
The move proved to be a better fit for both Blackmon and Cecil Shorts. The Jaguars showed an improvement in ball movement and offensive firepower.
While Blackmon will not be eligible to play in the team's first four regular season games, he is eligible to practice with the franchise and participate in the four preseason matchups. He did not do much in the team’s minicamp and OTAs, being held out of the two weeks of practice at the OTAs and then the June 14th final minicamp. The surgery may be a blessing in disguise.
Blackmon’s absence from practice and potentially more time from the upcoming training sessions could mean a more heated competition at the receiver slot.
Right now, I think the first five slots on the roster is set. Shorts and Blackmon will be the first and second option for the team, regardless of Blackmon’s position with suspension.
Free agent signee, Mohamed Massaquoi of Cleveland will be the third option, but will start the first four games for the team.
Jordan Shipley, the speedy slot receiver who was a free agent find from Cincinnati last year, will be added to the mix in four-receiver sets and help on special teams.
Ace Sanders was drafted in the fourth round from South Carolina to give the team more speed and more options on kick coverage and returns.
Blackmon will be able to play in his first regular season game against St. Louis on Oct. 6.