Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL, without pay, for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The 0-8 Jaguars did not specify the nature of his violation, but were very stern in their explanation about what will happen next.
“All of us who are a part of the Jaguars family care very deeply about Justin and his well-being," Jaguars general manager David 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.”
Prior to this latest incident, Blackmon was suspended the first four games of the 2013 season. After his latest suspension is served, he will be able to apply for reinstatement at the start of the 2014 season.
This is Blackmon's fourth substance-related incident in as many years. In 2010, while at Oklahoma State, he was arrested for a misdemeanor DUI, which was later reduced to an underage drinking violation. Weeks after being drafted, the receiver was arrested for a DUI and subsequently placed in the NFL substance abuse program.
Blackmon will finish the year with 29 receptions for 415 yards and one touchdown in four games.
The Jaguars may have seen it coming; in the 2013 NFL Draft they selected receivers Ace Sanders in the fourth round and offensive weapon Denard Robinson in the fifth round.
Second-year receiver Mike Brown may step into the starting role for the Jaguars, who are on a bye in Week 9. In the Jaguars' previous two games, Brown totaled eight receptions for 163 yards and one touchdown.