With Justin Blackmon Suspended, Who Will Pick Up The Slack?


Dec. 18, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver (11) Mohamed Massaquoi catches a pass in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The final 53-man roster is still nowhere near being settled but the  Jacksonville Jaguars have a pressing problem in the suspension of second-year wide receiver Justin Blackmon.  Blackmon was suspended on April 30th for the first four games of the season due to a violation of the league’s policy on substance abuse.  We all hope that he solves this problem on and off the field, whether while playing football or not, but it does leave the Jaguars in a bit of a bind at wide receiver.

The Jaguars have a number of receivers under contract but the primary players will be Cecil Shorts III, Jordan Shipley, Mohamed Massaquoi, and Ace Sanders.  With Shorts and Blackmon expected to start opposite each other, there is now a void as a number two wide out.  Blackmon fit this well with a 6’1″ frame and 207 pound body.  The next closest receiver left on roster, in terms of size, is Mohamed Massaqui at a near identical 6’1″ and 210 pounds.  He seems like the logical size fit to slide into the number two position while Blackmon is suspended.

The undersized Sanders, drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, figures to play in the slot, competing with Shipley for reps.  Shipley is considerably larger at 5’11” and 190 pounds, but Sanders (5’7″ 173 pounds) is shifty and could be more explosive than Shipley out of the slot.

The way I see it, the Jaguars have a pretty strong receiving corps  The current four players projected to pick up the slack could all do well in the absence of Blackmon, especially if Massaquoi steps up and is much better than he was in Cleveland, wehre he was drafted in the second round.  I’m excited to get Blackmon back, but for now (unless offseason workouts tell me otherwise) I’m excited to see what the other receivers can do.

– Luke N. Sims

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