Just when the Jacksonville Jaguars season couldn’t get any worse it has been reported that Justin Blackmon will be suspended for the rest of the season for once again violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Blackmon has already served a four game suspension for the same offence. The suspension will begin immediately and Blackmon will be able to apply for reinstatement to the league at the beginning of the 2014 season on the condition he remains clean and passes all the mandatory tests.
In a statement released by the Jaguars, general manager David Caldwell said: “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. 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.”
This comes as a critical blow to the Jaguars, who while sitting at 0-8 with their season realistically over, had to be looking to the future and Blackmon certainly seemed like a big part of it. He had 29 receptions for 415 yards and a touchdown in only four games and looked to be showing the team he was still a valuable asset moving forward after returning from his previous ban.
“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,” Blackmon said in a statement to Pro Football Talk.
“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.”
Without Blackmon the Jaguars seem almost devoid of any play-makers. When and if Blackmon does return from suspension the big question is, will it be with the Jaguars?
He is talented but the Jaguars might well decide to cut ties with the wide receiver as he continues to let them down.
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