Football Nation has learned through a story on ESPN.com, that Jacksonville Jaguars' wide receiver, Justin Blackmon, will seek help at a rehab facility following his being suspended indefintiely for violating the league’s substance abuse program.
Blackmon was suspended for the remainder of the season on Fiday following a third violation. The second-year pro was suspended for a second time this season, missing the first four games for the same reason.
According to the report, Blackmon “will be eligible to apply for reinstatement prior to the start of next season. The NFL has increased its awareness of players with recurring issues and has placed added emphasis on support, as opposed to just discipline.”
In a statement made on Friday, Blackmon Blackmon apologized again for his indiscretion.
“I want to sincerely apologize to Mr. Khan, my teammates, my coaches and to the Jaguars fans for not utilizing the resources that I was provided to overcome my challenges,” Blackmon said in the statement released to PFT. “I am determined to overcome the issues that have resulted in this situation, and I truly appreciate the support that the Jaguars and my agent have shown me.
“I will address these matters with the type of intensity I usually direct toward my on-field play so that I can be ready to be a productive member of the team and community next season. Again, I am truly sorry to Mr. Khan, my teammates and coaches and to the Jaguars fans for the impact of my situation on the team as well as to my family and friends and those that have been there for me during these challenging times. Nobody is more disappointed with all of this than me.”
While the Jaguars were off this week with a bye, the news of Blackmon’s issues did not keep the 0-8 team out of the media spotlight. Since his return in Week 5, Blackmon has registered 29 catches for 415 yards and a touchdown. His return was an immediate boost to the team’s passing offense.
The NFL Players Association has been working to help players with addictions and personal issues. The most recent case has been the much publicized one involving Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers. Smith spent time in a rehabilitation center for alcoholism.
Smith voluntarily sought help for his issues.