Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the National Football League’s substance-abuse policy.
Blackmon will be eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games prior to the start of the season, the team said yesterday in a release on its website without specifying the nature of the 23-year-old’s violation.
Blackmon pleaded guilty to driving under the influence last July in Oklahoma. He also was arrested on a DUI charge in Texas in 2010.
“I’ve made mistakes and I have no excuse,” Blackmon said in the release. “I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person.”
The No. 5 pick in the 2012 draft, Blackmon had 64 receptions last year for 865 yards and five touchdowns.
Blackmon is eligible to return to the team on Sept. 30, the day after the Jaguars play the division-rival Indianapolis Colts. He will also miss games against the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.
“It’s very disappointing,” Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell said during a conference call with reporters. “We understand this isn’t all going to be an upward trend and we’re going to have setbacks. To be honest, things like this are frustrating because it’s an avoidable situation.”
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