A day after it was announced that Dante Fowler will miss the first regular season game of the 2018 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced the defensive end will miss the start of training camp due to injury.
Per Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union, the Jacksonville Jaguars have placed the former first-round draft pick out of Florida on the team’s Active/Physically Unable to Perform list with an undisclosed injury.
Dante Fowler was not a participant at the team’s OTAs or minicamp in May. It is believed the defensive end has an upper-body injury.
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As I wrote on Friday, Fowler was suspended by the NFL for the first game of the season for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Per ESPN.com and other websites, the news of Fowler’s suspension comes after he pleaded no contest to charges of battery, criminal mischief and petit theft in which he was arrested for last July in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Fowler has also been docked one game check for his suspension. The Jaguars open the season on the road against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 9. After a 2017 season where he had a career-high eight sacks, Fowler was told by the Jaguars organization that the fifth-year option of his rookie contract would not be picked up.
Essentially, the 2018 season has become a “prove it” year for the former University of Florida star.
In an interview with John Reid of the Florida Times-Union, Fowler said he knows this upcoming season is a turning point in his career and wanted to use it to prove he deserves a long-term deal.
″I know how good of a player I am,″ said Fowler, who has combined for 12 sacks over the past two seasons. ″I know I’m one of the best players in this league. When I go out there, I’m going to make the best of my opportunities every time. I’m working hard to have the best season of my career.″
Jaguars Defensive end Calais Campbell was asked about Fowler’s suspension when he was interviewed by the media on Saturday while hosting a Microsoft coding camp with 25 youths from the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida.
″Anytime you lose a player it’s always one of those things that’s tough,″ Campbell said. ″But at the end of the day, you got to live with it and make do. Dante is a great player and we’re a better team when he’s on the field. But the front office has done a great job of bringing in players to create a lot of depth on the D-line. It’s going to be a challenge but we should be fine.″