The Jacksonville Jaguars received a pleasant amount of production from wide receiver Ace Sanders after selecting him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Playing somewhat out of position, Sanders was forced into the starting lineup thanks to lack of depth and, now somewhat ironically, Justin Blackmon’s suspension.
Now Ace Sanders is facing a four game suspension due to what appears to be a substance abuse issue.
Some of Sanders’ consequent comments intimate some sort of personal issue with drugs, but nothing official has been said about the suspension.
Already dealing with former first round pick Justin Blackmon and his recurring substance abuse issues, it’s disheartening to see the Jaguars having to deal with another suspended wide receiver. Sanders was expected to play a big role in the return game this year and continue to be a part of certain packages on offense.
Ultimately, this may end up significantly decreasing Sanders’ opportunity to contribute this year and potentially to make the roster. General Manager David Caldwell drafted two wide receivers in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and Sanders was competing with 5 or so other guys to secure one of 2 or 3 open spots at wide receiver. His absence gives free agent signing Tandon Doss the opportunity to show he can shoulder the load as a punt and kick returner.
Regardless of this suspension, it was unlikely Sanders was going to reproduce his 50+ catch production from 2013. His actions going forward are going to determine whether or not he makes the roster this year and beyond.
- Daniel Lago