After a longer wait than they might have liked, the Jaguars will get to see wide receiver Justin Blackmon make his preseason debut on Friday night.
Blackmon was out of training camp for 12 days before signing his contract, which means he’s still catching up to those who have been working for those two weeks. Blackmon’s natural talent has impressed the Jaguars, but the first-round pick has no choice to learn as he goes because of the holdout. Jaguars offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski thinks that will make Friday’s debut difficult for him.
“He’s really like in his first week of training camp. He’s got the tired legs,” Bratkowski said, via Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. “He’s way behind mentally because of all the meetings he’s missed. It’s a struggle for him at this point, physically and mentally, but he has to fight through it.”
Bratkowski said that the Jaguars will try to get the ball to Blackmon in order to get him into the flow of the offense, although he cautions the Saints defense will have something to do with that. Low expectations after the holdout should help Blackmon avoid too much negativity if he doesn’t do much on Friday, but those won’t be available to him too much longer.