After the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted wide receivers Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee in last month’s NFL Draft, it looked as if the organization was prepared to move on from the embattled Justin Blackmon.
Well, let’s not close the door just yet.
The Jaguars will not cut Blackmon, and instead will allow him to return to the team if and when he is reinstated by the league from his indefinite suspension, ESPN NFL insider Ed Werder reported.
The team doesn’t know if or when Blackmon will be reinstated and doesn’t expect the wide receiver back for the 2014 season.
The Jaguars have no sense of when — or even if — Blackmon will ever be eligible to play in the NFL.
The Jaguars don’t expect Blackmon to be available this year — he sat out the first four games and the last eight games of 2013 because of suspensions.
Pro Football Talk reported the Jaguars remain hopeful Blackmon could be eligible at some point this season, but aren’t optimistic it will be by Week 1.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Jaguars have not ruled out a reinstatement for Blackmon at some point during the 2014 regular season. But they don’t expect to have him available as of Week One.
The reports are conflicting, but all signs point to Blackmon being banned for all — if not, most — of the 2014 season. Because he is a Stage 3 violator of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, Blackmon must apply through the league office for his reinstatement.
Upon his return, he could be a part of a dynamic foursome at wide receiver along with Lee, Robinson and Cecil Shorts III. After the team drafted Lee and Robinson, it seemed as if it was ready to move on from Blackmon.
Owner Shad Khan has called Blackmon’s situation an “absolutely tragedy,” having been suspended twice by the league before receiving an indefinite ban. When asked about Blackmon’s availability for 2014, coach Gus Bradley said “it doesn’t sound like it’s going in the right direction.”