Caldwell: Jaguars not counting on Justin Blackmon


After learning to get by without Justin Blackmon, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren't relying on his return for 2015.

"We hope for him, we pray for him, our thoughts are with him," general manager David Caldwell said Tuesday. "We hope he comes back because he's talented. We also know that he's a good person fighting a tough battle.

"I think we have to treat it as a luxury. If he comes back, that's great. If he doesn't, we feel good about the three guys that we've got and if he comes back, that's even better."

It's essentially the same message Caldwell spread last May in saying that the Jaguars didn't plan to release the 2012 first-rounder, but weren't "counting on" Blackmon, either.

Following a July charge for possession of marijuana -- Blackmon's third drug- or alcohol-related arrest -- the wideout checked himself into a treatment facility in September.

"There is no risk (to keeping him on the roster)," Caldwell said of the 24-year-old pass-catcher, who isn't earning a salary or taking up a roster spot.

The Jaguars are wise to keep Blackmon in their orbit. If he forges a comeback, it would lace Jacksonville's young offense with a weapon who pulled down 29 catches for 415 yards and one touchdown in just four games in 2013.

Without Blackmon at his disposal, Caldwell has built up the team's crop of wideouts by drafting Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson while unearthing the undrafted Allen Hurns.

None of those players possess Blackmon's combination of size, speed and freakish athletic talent, but each of them sits squarely on the active roster -- something Blackmon hasn't been able to achieve.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 17 game and debates the MVP race between Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.