Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

NFL suspends Jag for a second time

JACKSONVILLE — The NFL suspended Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon indefinitely for another violation of the substance-abuse policy on Friday.

Blackmon, eligible to apply for reinstatement prior to next season, was suspended for the first four games of this season. So this is at least his third violation in about 18 months. The league does not disclose the substance for suspensions.

"All of us who are a part of the Jaguars family care very deeply about Justin and his well-being," general manager Dave Caldwell said in a statement. "His suspension will provide him the opportunity to receive the attention and professional treatment necessary to overcome his challenges, and we will support him during this time."

Unlike the four-game suspension, he is not allowed at the practice facility.

"I want to sincerely apologize to (owner Shad Khan), my teammates, my coaches and to the Jaguars fans for not utilizing the resources that I was provided to overcome my challenges," Blackmon said in a statement released by his agent.

"I will address these matters with the type of intensity I usually direct toward my on-field play so that I can be ready to be a productive member of the team and community next season."

More Jaguars: Reserve linebackers John Lotulelei and J.T. Thomas were involved in "a very minor situation" after last week's loss in London, Caldwell confirmed. Earlier this week, Deadspin.com first reported about an incident. Caldwell didn't disclose details (the players had facial injuries) but said it was "handled internally."

Ponder to start: Christian Ponder, not Josh Freeman, will start at quarterback for the Vikings on Sunday. After spending three games on the sideline, Ponder returned for last week's loss to the Packers, throwing for 145 yards and no touchdowns. Freeman sat with a concussion. Said coach Leslie Frazier: "Christian gives us the best chance to win."

More Vikings: GM Rick Spielman said Frazier is in no danger of being fired despite three consecutive blowout losses.

Bengals: An MRI exam revealed defensive tackle Geno Atkins tore his right ACL while trying to make a tackle Thursday against the Dolphins. He is out for the season.

Bills: Quarterback Thad Lewis (ribs) returned to practice. But he was limited and is doubtful for Sunday. The team did not say if Jeff Tuel or Matt Flynn would start.

Falcons: Star receiver Roddy White, who has missed two games with right ankle and left hamstring injuries, returned to practice and will be a game-time decision.

Saints: Receiver Marques Colston (knee) and linebacker Jonathan Vilma (knee) will be game-time decisions. Vilma, who had arthroscopic surgery in August, is eligible to come off of short-term injured reserve.

Seahawks: Receiver Golden Tate was fined $7,875 for taunting while scoring Monday.

Texans: Running back Arian Foster (hamstring) will be a game-time decision.

Flex scheduling: The Chiefs-Broncos game on Dec. 1 will start at 8:30 and air on NBC. It replaces Packers-Giants.

Late Thursday: Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton for a safety to give the host Dolphins a 22-20 overtime win over the Bengals. Only two other games have ended with a safety: Vikings 23-21 over the Rams in 1989 and Bears 19-17 over the Titans in 2004. Mike Nugent's 54-yard field goal with 1:24 left put the Bengals up. But former Gator Caleb Sturgis made a 44-yarder with 11 seconds left.

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