Following his indefinite suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon issued an apology.
He's eligible for reinstatement prior to the 2014 season.
“I want to sincerely apologize to Mr. (Shad) Khan, my teammates, my coaches and to the Jaguars fans for not utilizing the resources that I was provided to overcome my challenges,” Blackmon said in a statement released by his agent. “I am determined to overcome the issues that have resulted in this situation, and I truly appreciate the support that the Jaguars and my agent have shown me.
“I will address these matters with the type of intensity I usually direct toward my on-field play so that I can be ready to be a productive member of the team and community next season. Again, I am truly sorry to Mr. Khan, my teammates and coaches and to the Jaguars fans for the impact of my situation on the team as well as to my family and friends and those that have been there for me during these challenging times. Nobody is more disappointed with all of this than me.”
The Jaguars aren't necessarily giving up on Blackmon, though.
They have said they'll stick by him as he continues to receive assistance.
“All of us who are a part of the Jaguars family care very deeply about Justin and his well-being,” Caldwell said. “That said, he must be held accountable and accept the consequences announced today by the NFL. His suspension will provide him the opportunity to receive the attention and professional treatment necessary to overcome his challenges, and we will support him during this time. The Jacksonville Jaguars will evaluate Justin's status once he has successfully met the criteria to be considered for reinstatement to the league.”
Blackmon has caught 29 passes for 415 yards and a touchdown this season for the winless Jaguars.
Drafted fifth overall last year, Blackmon caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season.
Blackmon has a series of driving under the influence arrests.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.