JACKSONVILLE - The Jacksonville Jaguars may have found their next cheerleader and he wears number 14.
Justin Blackmon is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after undergoing surgery on an injured groin. But he's provided moral support to his teammates throughout training camp.
"That's pretty much my role right now is to give energy to the team and go out there and support and try to be as active as I can on the sideline," said Blackmon.
His head coach, Gus Bradley, said this was the plan all along.
"We challenged him to compete any way he can," said Bradley. "It's great he's helping the younger guys. He's there with Cecil (Shorts). He's talking every play. And he's really engaged."
It's unusual to see a second-year player so active and vocal but his teammates say that's what they expect out of Blackmon.
"He's a unique guy," said wide receiver Mike Brown. "He's always going to hold us to a standard. He's always going to encourage us. Let us know what we're doing good. Let us know what we're doing bad. When we're doing something wrong, he's talking to us about the smallest things like body language or keeping your eye on the ball. It's definitely helpful."
Gus Bradley hinted Blackmon could return to the field sooner than expected, saying the team has sped up some of his rehab.
"I'm just ready to get back out there on the field," said Blackmon.
Blackmon will also miss the first four games of the season after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. But in the meantime, this type of positive support is exactly what Jaguars want to see out of a former top-5 draft pick.
Copyright 2013 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.