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Jaguars WR Ace Sanders facing 4-game suspension, takes leave of absence for 'personal issues'

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Ace Sanders said Tuesday he is facing a four-game suspension and won't be around for the majority of training camp.

Sanders held a conference call with reporters to disclose his looming punishment.

He declined to discuss the reason for the pending suspension, but says "personal issues" will prevent him from attending the start of training camp Friday.

"I have some personal issues that I am dealing with, trying to get everything straightened out," he said. "It's been really tough, a really, really tough road for me this past couple of months. I've been dealing with a lot of stuff, just with life and family and a lot of issues going on."

Sanders, the second-year pro from South Carolina, said he will seek counselling and not rehab.

The Jaguars said it was Sanders' decision to reveal his issues and not pressure from anyone in the organization.

"I would just rather everybody hear that from me first before hearing it from everybody else, so I kind of just get everything out there and ultimately let people know that I am taking full responsibility for all of my actions, everything I did," he said. "I just really wanted to let the fan base know, let my family know, let (owner) Mr. Shad Khan, (general manager) Dave Caldwell, coach Gus (Bradley) and all my teammates know that I am truly sorry for what happened.

"But sometimes life hits, and it's hard. I made some mistakes that I do regret, that I do honestly regret. I could have handled situations a little differently. I'm still just dealing with it, just trying to be a better person, a better teammate for everybody around me. I decided to seek help, get that attention that I need. Hopefully somebody can help me out. I should be OK. I should be fine. It's about getting better and coming back ready to play."

Sanders said he won't appeal any suspension handed down by the league.

The Jaguars already are down one receiver since Justin Blackmon is suspended indefinitely for repeated violations of the league's substance-abuse policy.

Without Sanders, the Jaguars likely will give rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson a chance to work with the starters. The Jaguars drafted the duo in the second round of May's NFL draft. The team also has No. 1 receiver Cecil Shorts III, Mike Brown, Tandon Doss, Allen Hurns, Kerry Taylor, Lamaar Thomas, Chad Bumphis and others.

Jacksonville placed Sanders on the active/non-football injury/illness list Tuesday. The team also placed cornerback Alan Ball (ankle) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (groin) on the active/physically unable to perform list. Cornerback Aaron Colvin (knee) was placed on the active/non-football injury list.

"I'll come back and I'll be ready to play," Sanders said. "I think this time that I'm taking just to get everything in order is going to be really helpful. It's just been a situation that kind of been brought out to the light to me for a while, so I had some time to deal with it myself, 'OK, you messed up. Where do you go from here?' I've had a little more time than everybody else to kind of like deal with it. ... I'll definitely be ready to play when I get back."

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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