On April 25th, Big Cat Country ran an editorial written by myself, discussing suspended Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon. It was near the point of where we should have heard something on if Blackmon would apply for reinstatement or not.
If it was not clear in the article, I gave my personal opinion that he had not applied for reinstatement based on various things and he may not even want to apply for reinstatement.
Again, this was my personal opinion.
On May 10th, Big Cat Country ran a news post stating that Justin Blackmon had reportedly been denied reinstatement to the NFL. This post was based on information tweeted by 1010XL host Mike Dempsey. The assumption was that because Blackmon had failed or missed another drug test. This was relayed by 1010XL host Mike Dempsey, via Associated Press writer Mark Long.
Now, there is some questions on if Blackmon ever actually applied for reinstatement. Mike Dempsey, host of 1010XL's Jaguars Today show, went on air and mentioned that he had been told by multiple people that they were not aware that Blackmon had applied for reinstatement.
You can hear Mike Dempsey's response to this in the embedded audio from his May 13th show below.
In the audio, Dempsey summarizes the story, playing an audio clip of Mark Long on 1010XL stating "The news on Justin Blackmon looks more and more bleak. Clearly, he applied for reinstatement and was getting tested and now he didn't get reinstated and there's no talk of him getting reinstated, so something most have happened."
"He either missed a test or he failed a test," Long continued. "Something along that line happened and then you see the photos on the internet where he's puffy and that obviously doesn't bode well either for this franchise."
After playing the clip of Long, Dempsey noted that he was confused by what Mark was stating, if he was reporting or speculating. Dempsey says that every one he's spoken with up to the airing of this segment, that no one has heard anything about Blackmon being reinstated.
"In fact, I was told point blank by a guy who has multiple sources in great position to know, that it's simply not true," Dempsey said on air. "He hasn't applied for reinstatement. So what I endeavored to do when I saw Mark next was to talk to him about this and say 'Hey, let's clear this up.'"
Dempsey attempted to verify with Mark Long on Saturday May 9th and now there appears to be a denial that Long ever reported that Blackmon actually applied for reinstatement and was denied, because he didn't write the story, therefore was not reporting it.
So has Justin Blackmon applied for reinstatement to the NFL?
I don't know.
In my opinion, I don't think he has applied. I would think that there would have been a lot more reports about it had Blackmon actually applied for reinstatement, as I mentioned in my editorial on April 25th. Long however, is a reliable source on the Jaguars, so I didn't think twice about it when he said on air that Blackmon "clearly" applied for reinstatement and was denied, and we relaying the information quickly and accurately to the best of our ability to our readers as we always do.
I can't personally refute Long's report, nor am I going to try to. That's not really my prerogative.
It is my duty however to keep you up to date on a story as it changes, so this is where it stands currently.
Did Justin Blackmon apply for reinstatement? Unknown, but I tend to think he did not.
Was Justin Blackmon denied reinstatement for a failed or missed drug test? Unknown.
Will Justin Blackmon play in 2015? Highly unlikely, but unknown at this time.
We will keep you updated as the story develops further.