The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted wide receiver Justin Blackmon in the first round of the NFL Draft with the intention of having him make a significant impact on their abysmal passing offense, but after a 12-day holdout the rookie pass catcher is behind the rest of his teammates.
The Jaguars are putting their new offensive weapon on a crash course, however, in hopes of getting him up to speed so he can contribute when the regular season rolls around.
Under the new NFL rules, Blackmon cannot fully practice with the Jaguars until Sunday, which means he will miss the teams first preseason game this Friday against the New York Giants.
That doesn’t mean the Jaguars coaching staff can’t do their best to help get Blackmon caught up over the next couple of days by bombarding him with all of the information he missed during his holdout. Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey is confident that Blackmon is capable of catching up because he has noticed a deeper commitment from his young star since he was arrested this June for DUI.
Blackmon spent his first practice on Tuesday off to the side catching passes from his quarterbacks while watching his teammates work.
Blackmon and the Jaguars hope that the crash course will help him hit the ground running when he practices on Sunday and he will be able to play in the teams second preseason game next Friday against the New Orleans Saints.
The Jaguars need him to be ready, because it is clear that if this offense is going to take a step forward this season, Blackmon will need to be a huge part of the improvement.