In the war of attrition that has been this 2013 NFL season, add two more players to the list. On Friday, Nov 1, it was announced that Geno Atkins, starting DT for the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Blackmon, starting WR for the Jacksonville Jaguars are both done for the season.
The results are the same, but two very different circumstances.
Geno Atkins went down with a torn ACL during the Bengals' 22-20 OT loss to Miami on Thursday night.
In the case of Justin Blackmon, the 23 year-old WR has been suspended indefinitely for violating the league's substance abuse policy - again. Blackmon had been suspended the first four games of this season, for the same thing. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement prior to start of the 2014 season.
The other big difference, since Blackmon was suspended not injured, it will be without pay - some folks have to learn the hard way.
The loss of Atkins was evident during his team's loss to the Dolphins. Without the beefy run-stopper in the middle, Miami was able to run almost at will. Cincinnati had been riding a four-game win streak, and appear headed to the playoffs again this year. Atkins is not only a dominant defensive lineman (some say he is the best in the NFL), but also the heart and soul and emotional leader of the defense. It will be interesting to see how the team copes with the loss. Hopefully they can adjust as well as New England has adjusted to the loss of DT Vince Wilfork to season-ending injury.
It was quite an ill-timed injury as well. The NFL trade deadline just passed earlier this week.
The 0-8 Jacksonville Jaguars are suffering through a miserable season, and there is speculation they may go 0-16. With the loss of Blackmon, that speculation will grow. The only bright spot may be for Blackmon himself; if the team goes 0-16, he will not have to be on the field for the end of that final game.
Blackmon will be eligible to appeal his suspension, but as a repeat offender, odds would be against him.
Said Jacksonville GM David Caldwell, "All of us who are a part of the Jaguars family care very deeply about Justin and his well-being. That said, he must be held accountable and accept the consequences announced today by the NFL. 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 that time."