Justin Blackmon available for Jags after 4-game suspension
Blackmon, who recently practiced with the team, had been on a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
To make roster room for Blackmon, the Jaguars waived offensive guard Jacques McClendon.
The Jaguars’ banged up receiving corps have struggled throughout the first month of the 2013 season. With wide receivers Stephen Burton (concussion) as well as Mike Brown (back) missing multiple games due to injuries and tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf) also missing most of the season (up to this point), the Jaguars had to rely on Cecil Shorts and fourth-round rookie Ace Sanders to carry their passing game. But with their top wide receiver now available, the Jaguars could finally get their offense going – provided quarterback Blaine Gabbert can wake up and figure out a way to get the ball to his targets outside.
The 2012 first-round pick Blackmon set franchise rookie records for most receiving yards (865 on 64 receptions) and tied with five receiving touchdowns (which also ranked second among all NFL rookies in 2012). Blackmon started all but one game for the Jaguars last season. But Blackmon has yet to play a game for the Jaguars this season, and will be looking to make amends following his suspension, at the first chance he gets during a game.
“I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person," Blackmon said at the time he received the suspension by the league.
“He's done tremendous these last four weeks. His body fat has dropped and his weight has gained. He's in really, really good shape right now,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said of Blackmon this week, via the Florida Times Union. “He's done everything that we've asked of him, he went on the trips with us. I could go with a list on some of the things we asked him to do that he's done, so he's a in a great frame of mind right now."
The Jaguars, who are still looking for their first win of the season, play the St. Louis Rams in a Week 5 matchup at Edward Jones Dome, later today. But things could get a little easier for the Jaguars with the Rams dealing with plenty of injuries to their secondary. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan was listed as doubtful in the Rams’ injury report, safety T.J. McDonald broke his leg while defensive back Trumaine Johnson missed practice all week.