Facing a four-game suspension and recovering from groin surgery usually means a quiet night for any player. In one of the strange stories out of week one of the preseason, that wasn’t the case for Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, Blackmon, who is entering his second year in the league, got into a verbal altercation with Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll on the sideline during the opening half of the game. Okay, nothing too crazy yet. Verbal altercations are a common sight in the NFL.
From there, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley stepped in to break things up, and that was all fine until veteran defensive end Jason Babin suggested that Blackmon not engage in trash talk with the opposition while he’s facing a suspension. That’s when Blackmon turned his aggression towards Babin.
Then, running back Maurice Jones-Drew stepped in and escorted Blackmon from the field to get him away from further conflict.
The whole incident presumably began with a passing shot by either Blackmon or Carroll, and simply escalated from that point. Still, Gus Bradley wasn’t happy about the incident.
“That’s not what we want on the sideline. That’s not who we are or what we want to become,” Bradley said via Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union.
Considering Blackmon’s off-field issues to this point in his career, the Jaguars are hoping that his most recent incident is a strange anomaly and not an indication of lingering character issues.
It’s likely that Blackmon’s suspension is a sore spot for his ego, and he may have simply though that Babin was taking a shot at him by commenting on his suspension.