Wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely without pay for another violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. (Mike Hewitt / Getty Images)
Jacksonville, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely without pay for another violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Blackmon was previously suspended the first four games of this season for violating the policy. So this is at least his third violation in about 18 months. And the Jaguars are acknowledging he has a problem.
“All of us who are a part of the Jaguars family care very deeply about Justin and his well-being,” general manager Dave Caldwell said in a statement. “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’s suspension begins immediately. Unlike his four-game suspension, he won’t be allowed in the building during this one. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement prior to the start of 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.”
Since the winless Jaguars (0-8) aren’t on the hook for the rest of Blackmon’s salary this season — they also might try to void what remains on his rookie contract — they could keep him on the roster in hopes he turns his life around. After all, the troubled receiver has proven to be talented in two seasons.
Blackmon had 29 receptions for 415 yards and a touchdown this year. He has 93 catches for 1,280 yards and six scores in 20 games — all since Jacksonville traded up to select the former Oklahoma State star with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
Abdullah blasts league
Former NFL defensive back Hamza Abdullah took to Twitter to blast the league and commissioner Roger Goodell for not doing enough to ensure players’ well-being.
In dozens of profanity-laced tweets, Abdullah said on his verified account that the NFL treats players like slaves, that Goodell would sell his “soul for a dollar,” and that the league should pay for psychiatric evaluations for its players.
Hamza Abdullah's Twitter rant shouldn't come as a surprise. Until former players believe their plights are being taken seriously, post-career anger will continue. Blog
Abdullah also implied that he had suicidal thoughts, tweeting that "Every time I go to sleep, I pray that Allah takes care of my family, just in case I don't wake up." In the next tweet, he adds, "And quietly, I'm disappointed sometimes when I do wake up."
Abdullah's brother, Husain Abdullah, is a defensive back for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was not in the locker room during Thursday's media availability, though he did attend practice.
... A federal judge in Minnesota gave final approval Friday to a $50 million settlement in the complicated court fight over publicity rights for retired NFL players, calling it a “one-of-a-kind, and a remarkable victory for the class as a whole.”
... An MRI test confirmed that Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins tore the ACL in his right knee, leaving the AFC North leaders without another star player on defense.
... The Chiefs-Broncos game in Week 11 is moving to prime time — NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” on Nov. 17, pushing the Packers-Giants game to 4:25 p.m. on Fox.
... Former Pro Bowl guard Brandon Moore officially retired as a member of the Jets. An emotional Moore was honored by the team Friday after ending a playing career in which he spent 11 seasons with the Jets.
... A jury spent a fruitless Friday deliberating the fate of a Florida man accused of fatally shooting Redskins star Sean Taylor, but possible juror misconduct emerged when an unauthorized legal book was discovered in the jury room. Jurors in the trial of 23-year-old Eric Rivera Jr. were sent home for the weekend after failing for a third day to reach a verdict.
They signaled that they were tired and wanted to return Monday to resume deliberations.
Lions tight end Joseph Fauria (unnecessary roughness) was among those fined $7,875 by the NFL on Friday. The others were the Browns’ Joe Haden (late hit out of bounds) and the Bills’ Mario Williams (face mask). Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was fined $21,000 for his hit on Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill with the crown of his helmet. And, the Broncos’ Wesley Woodyard and Falcons’ Osi Umenyiora and William Moore were all fined $15,750 for roughing-the-passer hits.
Burfict was called for a personal foul, his fifth of the season, in the Bengals’ 49-9 rout.
New York wide receiver David Nelson was fined $7,875 for unnecessary roughness. On a running play, he lowered a shoulder into Cincinnati’s Adam “Pacman” Jones, and the two needed to be separated after the play.
The Broncos’ Kevin Vickerson also was fined $7,875 for a late hit in that game.
Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate was docked $7,875 for taunting, a result of his unsportsmanlike penalty in the Seahawks’ win over St. Louis on Monday night. Tate had an 80-yard catch in the second half that was capped by him mockingly waving at safety Rodney McLeod as he ran to the end zone.
... Vikings GM Rick Spielman says head coach Leslie Frazier “is not going anywhere,” despite a disappointing 1-6 start. He says the blame for the poor performance can be spread across the board and he remains optimistic the team can get things turned around.
... Injured Ravens left guard Kelechi Osemele is likely to undergo surgery on his back and miss the remainder of the season, coach John Harbaugh said.
... Christian Ponder will start at quarterback for the Vikings against the Cowboys on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin will not play this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he continues to recover from hip surgery in August.
Head coach Pete Carroll said the team rested Harvin this week after he became sore after returning to practice a week ago. Harvin went for a follow-up MRI that confirmed there are no complications from the surgery and that he just needed to be dialed back a bit in his recovery.
Carroll said Harvin was progressing and was “ready to go” before “the wear and tear of the comeback” caused some soreness for him.
The team has time to activate Harvin to the 53-man roster.
... Falcons receiver Roddy White has returned to practice for the first time in over three weeks and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at Carolina.
... Titans safety Michael Griffin practiced on a limited basis Friday after missing two days with a right quadriceps injury as he tries to avoid sitting out a game for the first time in his NFL career.
... Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes will miss his fifth straight game with a hamstring injury.
... Bills quarterback Thad Lewis is doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs due because of a rib injury.