The Jaguars got the bad news Friday afternoon, as the NFL made it official and suspended defensive end Dante Fowler for the opening game of the season against the New York Giants.
As we have been writing about, including last week, Fowler was almost certainly going to be suspended for at least a game for having entered a no-contest plea in March to assaulting St Petersburg man in an apartment complex parking lot last July.
The league notified Fowler of his punishment and the Jaguars released this statement.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) July 20, 2018
This is not the first incident for Fowler, since joining the NFL He also pled-out an assault charge from 2016 in Dade County, but, did however escape NFL punishment for that incident.
Interestingly, Jacksonville had decided not to pick up Fowler’s fifth year option on his rookie contract earlier this off season. Instead, they publicly challenged him to continue to be not only a quality player, but better off the field.
Fowler blossomed during Jacksonville’s playoff season of 2017. The former #1 pick, had a breakout season with eight sacks, as the Jaguars defense was the top one in the NFL at rushing the quarterback. And, Jacksonville went on to win the AFC South and make the AFC Championship Game.
Fowler missed his entire rookie season of 2015 due to an ACL injury in rookie mini-camp just after being drafted that year. He’s a former All-SEC performer for the Gators, and is part of the young nucleus of players that the Jaguars are centering their defense around.
As with any players suspended by the NFL, Fowler will still be allowed to participate in training camp and in preseason games. The suspension will be the week of the opening games of the NFL season, and Fowler can have no contact with the coaching staff or any team activities.
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