After Thursday evening's game against the Atlanta Falcons to close out the preseason, the Jaguars will be without wide receiver Justin Blackmon until Week 5 of the regular season. Blackmon, as we all know, has been suspended the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
In the past, that meant the player could not be at the facility whatsoever. Thanks to a new rule change, Blackmon can be at the team facility around his teammates.
"He can be here," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said on Tuesday. "I don't think he can be out at practice but he can be in our meetings, he can be around the team, he can be in the locker room so I think it's a great move by the NFL to allow that to happen. To keep him around the environment I think is a good thing."
In the past, as mentioned, players couldn't even be at the facility and left to their own merit. Realizing that that could just lean towards players finding themselves in situations to get in more trouble off on their own, it's been modified.
There are still some concerns about Blackmon's maturity issues and if he'll fall off the wagon again, but if he's allowed to be at EverBank with the rest of the team, workout, and attend meetings he should have the support structure in place he needs.