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Jags WR Ace Sanders faces 4-game suspension, leave of absence

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Ace Sanders said he'll take a leave of absence. (USATSI)
Ace Sanders said he'll take a leave of absence. (USATSI)

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Receiver Justin Blackmon, the Jaguars' first-round pick in 2012, is currently out of football, and there's no telling when -- or if -- he'll return. Now, receiver Ace Sanders, Jacksonville's fourth-round pick from 2013, finds himself in a similar situation.

On Tuesday, Sanders told media members, including the Florida Times Union, that he's facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy and that he's taking a leave of absence from football to deal with his problems.

“I've decided to go seek help and get that attention,” he said. “I should be fine. ... I've made some mistakes that I could have handled a little differently.”

Sanders, who won't appeal the suspension, now can return for Week 5, and though he's eligible to practice with his teammates in training camp and play in the preseason games, Sanders said he's likely to take time off instead.

"I think I'll come back and be ready to play," he said. "This time I'm taking to get everything in order will be really helpful."

Last season, Sanders recorded 51 catches for 484 yards and a touchdown. Without him, look for Jacksonville's top receivers to be Cecil Shorts and second-round picks Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson.

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