Preseason football. A time to evaluate young players and prepare for the upcoming regular season. In the case of Jacksoville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon, it's also a time to work on being removed from a game - even if you are not actually playing in the game.
Last night, during the second quarter of the Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Preseason Week 1 contest, Blackmon got to rehearse being ejected. The incident started, according to Mark Long of the Associated Press, with Blackmon getting into a trash talking argument with Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll, despite the fact that Blackmon was not playing in the game due to recently undergoing groin surgery.
Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley said after the game, via Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union, "You know how it is in the preseason. Sometimes a player talks to the sideline. It started off as just banter and I just addressed it. I turned to him and said, ‘There's no place (for that). I'd rather you use your energy to encourage our guys and not get caught in that.'"
Then things got a little strange. Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin, according to Long's report, told Blackmon to pipe down, since he wasn't playing, and is suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Blackmon turned his frustration on Babin, and eventually had to be escorted off the field by Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and into the Jaguars' locker room.
Blackmon met with Bradley in the coach's office after the game.
While the incident, in and of itself, seems like it is a whole lot of nothing, when it happens to a guy who has been in the NFL for a year and has a resume including two DUIs and the substance abuse suspension, it cannot be completely written off.
The Dolphins won the game 27-3.