At the beginning of Jacksonville Jaguars OTAs, the media asked Justin Blackmon if he had a substance abuse problem. While the second year wide receiver was quick to defend himself by stating he did not have a substance abuse problem, rather he had a problem making the right decisions.
The first player on the team to defend Blackmon was Maurice Jones-Drew, who openly stated he thought the situation with Blackmon was being blown way out of bounds.
"The media just blows it out of proportion," Jones-Drew said, per an Associated Press report. "A lot of people make several mistakes. If you're that age and you have that amount of money, how would you act? If you answer that question truthfully, you can go from there."
Jones-Drew may withdraw what he stated about his teammate and how things are reported in light of the fact he himself is now caught up in legal charges stemming from an alleged nightclub incident over the weekend in St. Augustine.
According to a report on ESPN.com, which stems from many media outlets, including ESPN.com’s AFC south Blogger, Paul Kuharsky, “Jones-Drew has been charged with misdemeanor battery in relation to an incident Sunday at a restaurant in St. Augustine, Fla., multiple media outlets reported, citing the St. Augustine Police Department.”
Also, as reported by the ESPN.com story as of 4:14 this afternoon, Jones-Drew's agent, Adisa Bakari, told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, however, that St. Augustine police are about to issue a new release saying that no charges have been filed against Jones-Drew and the matter is under investigation.
"Maurice was there and was not involved. As soon as an altercation broke out, Maurice exited the premises. He was not questioned by police immediately after nor later that day," Bakari said Tuesday.
A friend of Jones-Drew was told to stop touching a woman before he put his hands on the security guard, who then put the man in a headlock before Jones-Drew struck the guard with a closed fist to the cheek, according to the police report, a copy of which also was obtained by NFL.com.
The Jaguars said in a statement they were "aware of the situation regarding Maurice Jones-Drew and are in the process of gathering more information. Due to this being a legal matter, we'll have no further comment at this time."
Jones-Drew is trying to make a comeback from a LisFranc injury to his foot that resulted in him missing the final 10 games of the season. In 2011, he led the NFL in rushing with 1.606 yards on a team that finished 5-11. Last year, the team plummeted to 2-14.
Since no other information has been given at this time, this is still a “wait and see” matter with Jones-Drew, the St. Augustine Police Department, the Jaguars and the NFL. Jones-Drew is in the final year of his contract with the team. Last season, he and Jaguars’ new owner Shad Khan were at odds over the desire by MJD to seek a new contract in the off season.
This led to a 38-day holdout where he missed all of training camp. It will be interesting to see how the Jaguars deal with this situation as opposed to the one Blackmon is involved in.
While both are different in nature, it would appear both could affect the team if both, not just Blackmon, misses time from the team’s regular season. Jones-Drew had been rehabilitating his foot in California during the offseason while working on finishing his degree at UCLA.
He was recently back in Jacksonville in time for the team’s OTAs this month and was reported to be traveling to Miami to continue his rehabilitation with Pete Bommarito, a trainer that he has worked with in the past along with former-Jaguars running back Fred Taylor.
Last season, the Jaguars had to deal with another nightclub situation with former defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, who was in an altercation where he was hit over the head with an alcohol bottle made of glass which cut his eye and required surgery.
Knighton was not an effective part of the Jaguars’ defense last season and was released in free agency where he was signed and reunited in Denver with former head coach Jack Del Rio.