Jaguars' Blackmon finding support during four-game suspension

Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:10 PM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Jaguar receiver Justin Blackmon says support from coaches and fellow players have helped him prepare for an imminent four-game suspension.

The 23-year-old receiver has participated in his last practice until Sept. 30, and the game at Atlanta will be his last until Oct. 6, The (Jacksonville) Times-Union reported Wednesday.

Blackmon received the suspension after his third violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. One more violation and he's suspended for a year.

"I know it's going to be tough to sit here and watch the team," Blackmon said after his last practice Tuesday. "But all I can do is encourage them and try to help out in any way."

In the interim, he'll be able to attend team meetings and use the team's workout facilities. He won't be able to attend games or practices.

Coach Gus Bradley applauds that concession from the league.

"It's a great move by the NFL to allow that to happen," he said. "To keep him around this environment is a good thing."

Blackmon and the team have talked about having a quarterback work with him away from the field.

He also visits Bradley's office often and talks daily with receivers coach Jerry Sullivan.

Will he be able to work through the suspension without more trouble?

"We'll see," said a fellow player, a veteran. "We're here for him."

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