Former Oklahoma State star receiver and current Jacksonville Jaguar Justin Blackmon has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
How Blackmon violated the policy is confidential, but a player must be a repeat offender to be suspended.
“I've made a mistake and I have no excuse,” Blackmon said in a statement released by the Jaguars. “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 suspension was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Coach (Gus) Bradley and I have spoken with Justin, and he is well aware of our disappointment,” Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said in a statement. “I don’t think there is any question that Justin is embarrassed and remorseful, and Coach Bradley and I are both confident he understands the obligations ahead of him, to himself, the franchise and the fans.
“We will support him throughout the process and continue to work to educate him and all of our players on making the right decisions.
This suspension is the latest in a recent string of off-the-field troubles for Blackmon, which includes two alcohol-related incidents in the past two years.
He was arrested in 2010 on a misdemeanor DUI complaint in Carrolton, Texas while returning to Oklahoma from a Dallas Cowboys game. He was suspended for one game for that arrest.
Then last June, Blackmon was arrested in Stillwater and charged with aggravated DUI. He pleaded guilty and received a deferred sentence. Court records show Blackmon has submitted proof he completed a substance abuse course and 51.5 hours of community service. His next court date is scheduled for July 24.
Blackmon, who was selected fifth overall by Jacksonville in the 2012 NFL Draft, had a standout three-year career in Stillwater, ranking second in school history in catches (253), receiving yards (3,564) and receiving touchdowns (40). He won back-to-back Biletnikoff Awards in 2010 and 2011.
Blackmon led all NFL rookies with 865 receiving yards last season.
“I will have a productive training camp and pre-season with my team, and during the suspension I will work hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to help the Jaguars when I return,” Blackmon said in the release. “I have chosen to be accountable for my poor decision, and I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, the front office and Jaguars fans for the impact of my mistake on the team.”