After being limited in mini-camp last month, it was revealed by Florida Times-Union beat writer Ryan O’Halloran that Justin Blackmon had groin surgery. This comes after a pair of players – defensive end Jason Babin and rookie free agent quarterback Jordan Rodgers – had similar procedures at the beginning of offseason activities.
Blackmon already made headlines this offseason by violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and receiving a four game suspension. Fortunately this particular surgery appears to have a short turnaround and Blackmon will likely be available for the start of training camp.
Despite not being available for the first four games of the regular season, Blackmon will get a lot of reps with the starters during training camp and the preseason to get him comfortable in Jedd Fisch’s new offense. After a slow start last season, Blackmon seemed to get more accustomed to the speed of the NFL as he finished the season with 615 yards over the last 7 games.
While the Jaguars are excited about the promising young tandem of Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III, the depth at wide receiver is somewhat concerning. Mohamed Massaquoi, Jordan Shipley, and Taylor Price are all castoffs and the rookies Ace Sanders and Tobias Palmer will need some time to adjust to the speed and physicality of NFL defenses. Blackmon’s availability is a huge variable in using this season to evaluate Blaine Gabbert’s potential as an NFL quarterback. Having him back for most of training camp is vital.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89