After starting the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely for violating that same policy for the third time. The former first round draft pick last season from Oklahoma State is essentially gone for the remainder of the season.
According to cbssports.com’s John Breech, “Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended for the rest of the 2013 season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, the league announced on Friday. Blackmon will be eligible to apply for reinstatement before the 2014 season.
The substance-abuse violation is Blackmon's second in just over six months. Blackmon missed the first four games of the 2013 season after violating the league's substance-abuse policy in April.
Blackmon came back to the team and showed promise with 19 catches and 326 yards in his first two games back. He and Cecil Shorts were supposed to be part of the resurgence of this team as the Jaguars were going with Chad Henne at quarterback instead of Blaine Gabbert.
The Jaguars immediately released a statement about the suspension and about Blackmon as the team plans to move forward.
"All of us who are a part of the Jaguars family care very deeply about Justin and his well-being. That said, he must be held accountable and accept the consequences announced today by the NFL," Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said in a statement. "His suspension will provide him the opportunity to receive the attention and professional treatment necessary to overcome his challenges, and we will support him during this time. The Jacksonville Jaguars will evaluate Justin's status once he has successfully met the criteria to be considered for reinstatement to the league."
Because of his violations in the past, the team must decide if the talent on the field is worth the trouble off. Blackmon took heat from the media following the second suspension at Jaguars’ OTAs earlier this year. The heat from the questions from reporters led to him being defended by Maurice Jones-Drew, who said though the attack was unwarranted.
The legal troubles for Blackmon began back in college at Oklahoma State. In June 2012, just two months after the Jaguars made him the fifth overall pick, Blackmon was arrested for aggravated DUI. Blackmon pleaded guilty to the charge. He was also suspended for a game in college under head coach Mike Gundy after he was arrested for misdemeanor DUI in 2010.
In a statement in ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio’s story, 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.”
The Jaguars have this weekend off and will be in Tennessee on November 10. Mike Brown, who has played well as the team’s third receiver in recent weeks, will likely move to a starting role with rookie Ace Sanders seeing more playing time.