Justin Blackmon is a very talented, but oft-troubled receiver. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been unable to get full production out of Blackmon due to his troubles with substance abuse, including multiple DUI’s. He has been suspended for the 2014 whole season.
Despite his tremndous talent, the Jaguars decided they were willing to move on this offseason, rather than focus energy on trying to get Blackmon back on track. They did not cut Blackmon (who does not count toward the active roster) but the team drafted two receivers, Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee, in the second round of the 2014 draft and have seen solid production from Robinson while Lee has missed games due to injury. Undrafted gem Allen Hurns has also provided some big play potential for the Jaguars.
Yet those three receivers aren’t quite the unique talent that Blackmon was coming out of college. The Jaguars eagerly snapped Blackmon up at fifth overall in the 2012 draft because of his impressive abilities, despite his DUI in college. So far he has only been available for his full rookie season before another run in saw him play in only four games in 2013.
But maybe we’re seeing a new Justin Blackmon now.
After waiting for a seemingly long period and fading from the public eye over the past year, Blackmon has entered rehab voluntarily. Mark Long of the Associated Press first reported it.
Blackmon’s agent is reportedly giving updates to the team and the receiver is doing well, working his way through the 90 day program.
While it is doubtful that Blackmon will make it back to the Jaguars at any point this season (he has been suspended through it), it is good to hear that he is taking steps to overcome his problems. He needs support from the team and the people around him as he goes through trials that are often hidden in most people’s lives and may be compounded as a well known public figure.
We at Black and Teal wish him the best in his quest to overcome his problems and we hope that the Jaguars will continue to be supportive of the receiver. This isn’t about his gaudy numbers as a rookie and his potential as a player, this is about his life and how he can heal and move on.